Covid 19 and Immunisation - What Can Children Do?

23 November, 2020

Dear All

We really need your help and advice.

Last week we attended a fascinating webinar in which we heard from people who are anticipating problems with the acceptability of a Covid Vaccine.

Community Engagement seems to be the 'buzz word' to address what is called ' vaccine hesitancy" and there was also a LOT of talk about the role of children and young people in helping overcome hesitancy.

This is all front and centre of the work we do at Children for Health and the first thing I did after the webinar was to revisit out immunisation messages.

So ..

1. I’d love comments and advice on what you think of including children and young people as we prepare for the global effort of mass vaccination and

2. If we are to use simple messaging - what needs to be changed in the list of messages and activities we developed some time ago that are set out below.

If you are someone involved and this and would like to include us in discussions about how to (TRULY) empower children as agents of change - then PLEASE do get in touch. We’d love to be involved

Here are the existing Children for Health messages on IMMUNISATION

1. Millions of parents all over the world every year make sure their children grow strong and are protected from diseases by taking them for immunisation.

2. When you are ill with an infectious disease, a tiny, invisible germ has entered your body. This germ makes more germs and stops your body working well.

3. Your body has special soldier-like protectors called antibodies to fight germs. When germs are killed, antibodies stay in your body ready to fight again.

4. Immunisation puts antigens into your body (by injection or by mouth). They teach your body to make the soldier-like antibodies to fight a disease.

5. Some immunisations have to be given more than once to help your body build up enough antibodies to protect against a disease.

6. Horrible diseases that cause death and suffering, like measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio and tetanus (and more!), can be prevented by immunisation.

7. To protect your body, you need to be immunised before the disease strikes.

8. To protect children right away immunisations are given to babies. If a baby misses their chance they can be immunised later.

9. Children can be immunised at different times for different diseases. Find out when and where your community immunises children.

10. If babies or young children are a little unwell on the day of immunisation they can still be immunised.

Here are some ideas for activities children can do to understand more about the topic and share the messages with others.

*Immunisation: What Can Children Do?*

- MAKE our own IMMUNISATION messages using our own words in our own language!

- MEMORISE the messages so we never forget them!

- SHARE these messages with other children and our families!

- MAKE posters for immunisation days and display them where everyone can see them.

- MAKE a play about stopping killer diseases harming children in our village.

- MAKE a story with pictures of superhero immunisations fighting the deadly diseases to protect us.

- MAKE A POSTER of one or more diseases that can be prevented by immunisation like Diphtheria, Measles & Rubella, Pertussis, Tuberculosis, Tetanus & Polio.

- MAKE up a play or story about Aunty Body: a kind, strong protector that keeps us safe and well.

- LEARN about each of the diseases and share what we learn with other children and our families.

- MAKE a special Birthday Card for a new baby and their mother with the times of their immunisations to wish them a happy and healthy first year of life!

- FIND out more about the many diseases that immunisations protect us against.

- FIND out more about helping children with disabilities.

- MAKE UP and TAKE A QUIZ to find how much we know about immunisation.Share it with friends and family.

- FIND out which immunisations we need more than once. And help FIND children who missed immunisations.

- FIND out what the disease’s SUPER POWERS are and how immunisation defeats these powers.

- CHECK everyone in our class and our teachers have all had their immunisations.

- FIND out if there are special immunisation events or days and health weeks when all children and babies can go for immunisations.

- FIND out if anyone in my family has missed their immunisations so they can catch up.

- ASK about immunisations in my country and WHEN we can get immunised.

- FIND OUT if anyone in our family had one of the killer diseases and find out what happened to them.

CHIFA profile: Clare Hanbury is director of Children for Health ( She qualified as a teacher in the UK and then worked in schools in Kenya and Hong Kong. After an MA in Education in Developing Countries and for many years, Clare worked for The Child-to-Child Trust based at the University of London’s Institute of Education where, alongside Hugh Hawes and Professor David Morley she worked to help embed the Child-to-Child ideas of childrens participation in health – into government and non-government child health and education programmes in numerous countries. Clare has worked with these ideas alongside vulnerable groups of children such as refugees and street children. Since her MSc in International Maternal and Child Health, Clare has worked freelance and focuses on helping government and non-government programmes to design and deliver child-centered health and education programmes where children are active participants. Clare has worked in many countries in East and Southern Africa and in Pakistan, Cambodia and the Yemen. Her current passion is for distilling health information for teachers, health workers and others – into simple practical health messages actionable by children.

Email: clare.hanbury AT