COVID-19 is a frequently discussed topic in today’s health care. People want to know how to protect themselves against the virus. Some individuals have concerns about the effectiveness of strategies the government and medical staff offer. Most official meetings and discussions are organized online to follow the preventive measures and stay isolated. This paper will summarize the public policy meeting video to identify recent changes in the COVID-19 situation, with particular attention to children under 12.
Purposes, Key Participants, Agenda Items, and Meeting Logistics
The video represents the online meeting of two key participants – Dr. Lee Savio Beers, the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Bill Scanlan, the host of Washington Journal. Their purpose is to discuss how COVID-19 affects children and what measures to take. Scanlan begins with the introduction of the guest, who mentions that the Academy represents more than 67,000 pediatricians with their mission to promote the health and well-being of all children (Dr. Lee Savio Beers on COVID-19 and children, 2021). The next several minutes are devoted to Beers’ statements about the importance of improvements in the healthcare system when children under 12 could obtain professional help and vaccination against COVID-19. Then, Scanlan offers to hear the information from parents’ call lines, listen to their ideas, and answer their questions. Regarding the format of a meeting and calls’ unpredictability and subjectivity, its agenda items and logistics are impossible to identify.
Background Information and the Committee
There is no specific committee in this meeting, but the two individuals who organize their communication about vaccination against the coronavirus for children. Twenty phone calls are represented where people share their suggestions, underline their concerns, and ask questions about COVID-19. Several background facts are mentioned at the beginning of the meeting to prove the importance of these calls. COVID-19 is not as dangerous for children under 12 as it is for adults. The AAP ensures protective means and strategies like masking, ventilation, and symptom screening. Local schools, public communities, the government, and federal agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also contribute to promoting a vaccine.
A general topic of the meeting is the impact of COVID-19 on children. However, this theme is broad, and several specific aspects need to be identified. Fear of needles prevents the progress of a vaccination process in the United States and the whole world. Millions of people have a phobia about needles and cannot join the process of vaccination (Dr. Lee Savio Beers on COVID-19 and children, 2021). The same situation is observed among children who are afraid of needles and experience severe stress about vaccination. Families might be aware of the benefits of vaccination, but they cannot use their chance to stop the virus because of personal psychological and mental health problems.
Key Stakeholder Positions
The opinions of ordinary citizens and experts in the field of health care about vaccination and needle fears are represented. On the one hand, people want to know more about the process and how the virus spreads (Dr. Lee Savio Beers on COVID-19 and children, 2021). On the other hand, individuals are not able to cope with their emotions and uncontrolled negative attitudes toward needles. The representatives of the AAP and FDA are ready to cooperate and improve public awareness of the topic. Citizens are also interested in their options, but they want to feel free in their choices, not to follow an obligation imposed by the government.
The online format of communication imposed certain limitations on any interactions that could occur at the meeting. Beers demonstrated her positive attitude toward every caller and the host. She was ready to cooperate, listen, and clarify the concerns of the audience. The host asked questions and offered the guest a possibility to add, give explanations, and even miss some questions due to their inappropriateness. In general, this communication proved that the government invites many organizations to cooperate and reduce the risks of COVID-19 and protect children. Future interactions between parents, schools, non-profit organizations, and federal agencies were discussed as a part of new programs and policies.
It is not always easy to provide the population with all answers when a poorly investigated pandemic challenges communities. Therefore, Beers underlined the importance of reminding all people that COVID-19 has a tremendous effect on adults and children on different levels. If a family gets a chance to avoid the disease, additional challenges like distant employment and learning, isolation, and vaccination continue to bother people of all ages and social levels. It is a responsibility of an adult to help a kid get back to ordinary socialization processes. As such, vaccination and protective measures are the only means to stabilize the situation. With time, more attention will be paid to how to deal with need fears and distribute information about the virus and its control.
In general, the public policy meeting video contributes to a better understanding of how COVID-19 affected children. Although adults are usually at risk of having the virus, children cannot avoid some outcomes of the situation. They need to miss their classes or change traditional learning to online education. Some families have to stay separated for a while to manage the coronavirus consequences. Children are not always ready for all pandemic-related challenges. Therefore, Beers was invited to inspire the audience and help people see what they can do and what the government does for people. COVID-19 policies are not stable, but the intentions to protect children and enhance their well-being should not be neglected.
Dr. Lee Savio Beers on COVID-19 and children [Video file]. (2021). Washington Journal.