US First Lady Jill Biden smiles as she attends the Council of Chief State School Officers' 2020 and ...

Jill Biden Urges Parents To Vaccinate Their Kids Against Covid-19

“Parenthood and worrying go hand-in-hand. It's what we do. With this vaccine, however, we can help take care of at least one of those worries.”

by Morgan Brinlee

Dr. Jill Biden’s daughter Ashley may be all grown up now, but that doesn’t mean the first lady doesn’t know what it’s like to worry about keeping her children safe and healthy. Biden got candid with parents in a recent op-ed for CNN, applauding them for how they’ve tackled the difficult challenges of parenting amid a pandemic and touching on her own experience as a mother to talk parent to parent about the importance of vaccinating eligible children against Covid-19.

“When you become a parent, you look at your baby and feel a mix of overwhelming love deep in your bones, and absolute terror, knowing that this fragile life is depending on you,” Biden wrote. “From that moment on, you see the world differently.”

While worry is sort of a universal parenting experience, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought parents a host of new difficulties. As Covid-19 cases began to surge across the globe in early 2020, parents took on additional worries about their children’s health while also scrambling to adjust their families to living with things like remote school, work from home, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders. And although many parents have often felt they struggled alone these last 20 months, the first lady noted she and the president have seen the burden they are carrying.

“Parents, we do absolutely everything to protect our kids, and in this pandemic, you did,” she wrote. “You figured out how to support their virtual learning while working your job. Some of you even left your job to help your kids. You found ways to create online playdates and birthday parties. You chose to get yourself vaccinated... You carried your family through this. You're doing an amazing job.”

Now there’s one more thing parents can do to support their families and protect their children’s health, according to Biden. “Getting your kids the Covid-19 vaccine is your choice, too,” the first lady wrote. “Make the decision to protect your children with the same vaccine that has already saved millions of lives.”

In late October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its emergency use authorization of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine to include children between the ages of 5 to 11. Within the first week of eligibility, the White House estimated nearly 1 million children in that new age range received their first dose of the vaccine with another 700,000 children already scheduled to get the vaccine in the coming days at pharmacies alone.

In her op-ed, Biden emphasized the vaccine had been found to be safe and effective in children and that clinical trial data had been thoroughly reviewed by regulators. In fact, she referred to the vaccine as “not just another way to protect your kids against Covid-19, but the best way,” noting it was safe, free, and available to every eligible child in the United States.

Parents can visit Vaccines.gov for help locating a vaccine clinic near them that has the smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine and the smaller needles needed to administer the vaccine to children.

“Parenthood and worrying go hand-in-hand. It's what we do,” she wrote. “I can't promise you that the dangers of the world will become any less frightening. Just wait until your kids start driving! With this vaccine, however, we can help take care of at least one of those worries. A big one.”