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Children’s Hospital, Nebraska Education Department create ‘Max the Vax’ child vaccine campaign

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:09 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Kicking off Tuesday, Omaha Children’s Hospital and the Nebraska Department of Education’s new campaign to help increase the number of children in Nebraska vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Max the Vax website is a tool for parents to get answers to their vaccine questions, and find available vaccine appointments for the kids near them.

“Now is not the time to step back or loosen our measures of prevention,” says Dr. Sharon Stoolman, a Physician with Children’s Hospital. “I know it’s been 21 months and it is exhausting but our community numbers are up.”

More than 100 physicians and health care providers from across the state are joining the campaign and signing this statement of support:

“I fully support vaccinating Nebraska’s kids’ ages five and older against COVID-19. Together, we can keep kids safe and maximize their future.”

“This statement of support represents trusted professionals throughout our state urban and rural coming together as a united front to protect children and fight back against COVID-19,” says Children’s President and CEO Chanda Chacon.

The new website connects families with vaccine resources, allowing them to get answers directly from state and local experts.

The goal is two-pronged: the first is to offer accurate education, especially for rural and minority communities.

“Estamos trabajando para ofrecer recursos, apoyo, y educacion para las familias que tienen preguntas y preocupaciones sobre la vacuna,” says Emily Braun, a Pediatrician with OneWorld.

The second is to vaccinate kids and teens to better protect them and to help avoid remote learning.

“Keeping our students healthy and in schools is just the most important thing we can do right now, we know as we’ve released data on, assessment data in how they’re academically performing, we know that when students miss just as few as four days of school, we’ve done research on that, that’s had an academic impact on students. Four days,” says Matt Blomstedt, Commissioner of the Nebraska Department of Education.

In Nebraska, more than 82,320 kids and teens are vaccinated. That’s about 7% of kids ages five to 11, and 49% of those ages 12 to 19.

Officials hope this new campaign will help grow that number.

“In Nebraska, it’s about neighbors helping neighbors, it’s about coming together as a community to encourage the safety of our children, rather than encouraging community spread,” says Paul Timm, the Nebraska Teacher of the Year.

Watch Tuesday’s news conference

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