|DATE:||November 5, 2021|
|SUBJECT:||COVID Vaccines for Children and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)|
|TO:||All SNAP State Agencies
FNS encourages state agencies to consider opportunities to highlight the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to parents of children aged 5 to 11.
The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to keep our children safe. The long-term effects of a pediatric COVID case can be serious and last months. The most common side-effect of the COVID vaccine, which provides lasting protection, is a sore arm. The best way to protect children against COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is to get them vaccinated. Like other pediatric vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine was thoroughly tested on children before being recommended. Parents with questions should talk to a pediatrician, school nurse, or another trusted healthcare provider about their child and the COVID-19 vaccine. Finding a vaccine is easy and getting vaccinated is free. Parents will be able to find available vaccines at vaccines.gov or by contacting their healthcare provider or local pharmacy.
FNS encourages states to use non-SNAP funds to support these awareness activities, including adding vaccine messaging to call center and interactive voice response (IVR) services; share information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during application intake, recertification, and on your public website; and partnering with state and local organizations to spread the word to use existing communication channels in multiple languages, including social media, to notify clients of the availability and importance of COVID vaccination for children.
Thank you for raising awareness of this important effort. Getting vaccinated will help keep schools open, sports going, and help our kids maintain a more normal lifestyle, thanks to the comfort and protection provided by the vaccines. Please contact your regional office with any questions.
for Jessica Shahin
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program