February 7, 2023
Austin – With COVID-19 cases in Texas ticking upward, a peer-to-peer campaign from Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) is building trust in COVID-19 vaccines among Texas’ systems-involved youth and young adults (YYA). Young people in at-risk, high-stress situations have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet data show they have among the lowest vaccination rates compared to other groups. Through a youth-friendly, youth-informed approach, TNOYS’ We Are Vaxxed TX campaign debunks myths, promotes accessible, science-backed information, and connects YYA with the resources they need to protect their health.
Developed with support from Texas A&M University Health and the Texas Department of State Health Services, TNOYS’ multi-pronged effort began with listening to and learning from YYA about common concerns and barriers to access. TNOYS then identified several “youth ambassadors” to inform the creation of a toolkit with flyers, brochures, posters, and social media posts that providers can use to promote COVID-19 vaccines.
The toolkit is being used by a range of stakeholders who have joined TNOYS to promote vaccine confidence across Texas. Notably, TNOYS is working closely with 14 member organizations that have joined as partners to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake among the youth and young adults they serve, which includes youth experiencing homelessness, the justice system, foster care, and other systems.
“TNOYS knows that our member network of over 120 organizations and professionals have built established, trusting relationships with hard-to-reach youth and young adults,” explains Fedora Galasso, TNOYS CEO, “We are proud to work with these partners to ensure all young people can stay healthy and avoid outcomes like missing school and work which could negatively affect their ability to thrive and succeed.”
The We Are Vaxxed TX Communications Toolkit can be used by any provider that serves systems-involved youth and young adults. View the complete toolkit here, and email email@example.com to learn about opportunities to partner on this effort.