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August 26, 2021

Daily News Lesson: Why approval for COVID vaccines in kids under 12 is taking time

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. To read the transcript of the video, click here.

Summary: The makers of the leading COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. all said Wednesday they have new data showing that an extra shot of their vaccine can boost protection significantly. After Pfizer, the remaining could receive full FDA approval as early as next month. But as officials prepare for adult boosters, plans to vaccinate kids of all ages with their first shot are lagging. William Brangham explores.

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is interviewed for this piece and what is his background?
  • What percentage of people 12 to 15 have been vaccinated so far, according to this piece?
  • When did the FDA formally approve the Pfizer vaccine?
  • Where are vaccine rates especially low for young people?
  • Why have so few young people been vaccinated, according to this piece?
  • How is the approval process for vaccines for children different than that for adults?

Focus questions:

  1. If you could choose just one priority for limited doses of vaccines, what would it be: getting more young people vaccinated, providing booster shots to older Americans or providing more shots to countries around the world? Why
  2. How do you think getting more young people vaccinated could change everyday life at school and elsewhere?

Media literacy: Do you think the expertise of the doctor interviewed in this piece was explained? What makes him an expert on the topic at hand?

Additional Resources:

  • Check out this lesson plan to discuss ways to encourage community members to help get the vaccine.
  • See this piece for what “full approval” of the vaccine by the FDA means.
  • Learn about one of many strategies being used to get people vaccinated in locations where they’re comfortable.

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