Most children and all teens are now able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the latest COVID-19 vaccination data, 43% of people age 12-15 and 50% of people age 16-17 are fully vaccinated. While children and young people are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, there can still be serious complications from infection can lead to hospitalization or death.
“The CDC recommends everyone age 5 and older get vaccinated as it is our best tool to protect everyone from severe illness and death due to COVID-19,” says Dr. Vanchiere. “We have seen vaccination rates among teens and young adults increase over the past several months, but there is still work to be done in getting the message out. We need to reach this group in ways that are creative and impactful to them, which is how we came up with the vision to work together with Gregory and the Film Prize Junior team to have this talented group of students create public service announcements about the safety and importance of vaccines that speak to and are relatable to their peers.”
Film Prize Junior is the student version of the award-winning Louisiana Film Prize. The program activates high school and middle school students from across the state of Louisiana to learn the creative and collaborative craft of narrative storytelling while developing valuable soft skills like teamwork, organization, and communication. Students who enter the competition are required to write a short script, shoot and edit a short film (3 to 10 minutes), and then market the film to an audience. Films are shown and judged online and at Artbreak (May 13-15) by attendees and a professional jury where they can win digital media grants for their schools as well as rewards for students, teachers and faculty members.
“We were so honored when LSU Health Shreveport approached us with the opportunity to showcase these incredibly talented young filmmakers,” says Gregory Kallenberg. “Through the PSAs, these filmmakers were able to address fears and hesitancies around vaccinations, using their voices and experiences to speak directly to their peers and the greater community about this important issue. The work they’ve done is to be applauded.“
For the latest information and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Centers for Disease Control. Click here for a schedule of upcoming LSUHS COVID-19 vaccination sites.