TikTok videos and teacher calls: How a South Side Chicago school increased vaccine uptake

TikTok videos and teacher calls: How a South Side Chicago school increased vaccine uptake

More than a dozen elementary school students, sporting bright yellow T-shirts with the words: “Doing my part. Vaccinated,” walked down a hallway at Dunne STEM Academy and recited lines while filming a public service announcement.

In take after take, students corrected one another on pronunciation and encouraged classmates to carry on if they fumbled a line. In the PSA, they shared statistics on the health impacts of COVID-19 in children and teenagers: There were more than 8,200 COVID-related hospitalizations among children as of mid-October 2021. Some suffered serious complications such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

Before the end of the video, a handful of students walk into the frame to proclaim: “I’m vaxxed.”

For eighth grader Nandi Guy, the goal was simple: See her peers get vaccinated. 

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