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Ciara to promote Covid-19 vaccination for kids as the White House looks to level up child vaccine rates


By Betsy Klein, CNN

First lady Jill Biden welcomed music star Ciara to the White House Wednesday to discuss the 1, 2 Step process of getting kids vaccinated against Covid-19 as the nation works to Level Up its vaccination rates.

The first lady and Ciara will hold a conversation aimed at encouraging children ages 5 to 11 years old to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, part of Biden’s ongoing work toward promoting child vaccinations. The conversation, a White House official told CNN, will be shared across Ciara and the White House’s social media platforms. Ciara, the first official noted, has an audience of 58 million followers on social media.

“We are continuing to meet people where they are today. And today, we’re also happy to welcome the singer and philanthropist Ciara to the White House, where she will participate in a roundtable about getting vaccinated with first lady Dr. Jill Biden,” US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told reporters at the Covid-19 response team briefing.

The Grammy-winning artist, who is married to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, was spotted with her three children — son Win, 1, daughter Sienna, 4, and son Future, 7 — posing for a photo outside the West Wing.

Later, the group was seen standing on a balcony with the first lady to watch President Joe Biden’s White House South Lawn helicopter departure for a trip to Detroit. The President jogged over to greet them before boarding Marine One.

They will join Biden and pediatrician Dr. Hina Talib to speak “about the importance of vaccinations for kids ages 5-11,” another White House official said.

Ciara, the official added, “will ask questions from her friends, family and community around the efficacy and importance of the vaccine for kids.”

The effort comes as the administration continues its work to combat vaccine misinformation, including from other celebrities with large social media platforms, as the vaccination rollout enters the new phase of getting the nation’s youngest, most newly eligible cohort vaccinated. The White House has previously worked with pop star Olivia Rodrigo and TikTok influencer Benny Drama to promote vaccines as safe and effective.

US child vaccine rates have accelerated since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed a recommendation to vaccinate children ages 5-11 against Covid-19 with Pfizer’s two-dose course earlier this month.

And there has been progress: the White House estimates by the end of Wednesday, about 10% of children ages 5 to 11, or 2.6 million children, will have received their first Covid-19 vaccine shot, according to White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients.

The first lady is in the midst of a nationwide child vaccine effort, making multiple trips and appearances, including a visit to a Children’s National medical clinic later Wednesday, to encourage parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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