BALTIMORE — Johns Hopkins has launched a new 2-hour online course aimed to train “vaccine ambassadors” to talk to concerned parents and guardians who might have apprehensions regarding COVID-19 vaccines for their school-age children.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador class is a free course on Coursera and is the latest offer from the John Hopkins University COVID-19 Training Initiative. According to Johns Hopkins, the goal for the new class is to encourage parents to make informed decisions regarding vaccinating their children.
In recent weeks, COVID-19 hospitalization in children has spiked. According to the CDC, an average of 672 children ages 17 and under have been admitted into hospitals with COVID every day during the week ending January 2.
“Having conversations about COVID-19 vaccinations can, at times, feel uncomfortable, especially if parents don’t see eye to eye or the conversation turns political, but we need to have this kind of dialogue with one another if we’re going to move forward in this pandemic and begin to address vaccine hesitancy,” said Rupali Limaye, director of Behavioral and Implementation Science at the Bloomberg School’s International Vaccine Access Center. “While these vaccines work, unless children and their parents feel confident pursuing them, we’ll continue to see COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and death rates go up.”
The course contains videos and FAQs about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines. The class also covers evidence-based communications strategies and lessons on engaging constructive conversations vaccines with hesitant parents.
For more information about the new class, click here.