State and Territorial Health Leaders Reaffirm Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines

March 08, 2022

ARLINGTON, VA—Today, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) reaffirmed its position that children five years of age and older should be vaccinated against COVID-19, as recommended by public health experts, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and medical associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Medical Association.

“ASTHO’s position on vaccination is clear. Data show that vaccines are one of the most effective ways to keep people, including children, safe from COVID-19 by preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Now is the time to help more families and communities protect themselves through vaccination. And we must continue our efforts to make sure people of all ages are up to date on their vaccines,” said Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., ASTHO president and director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

ASTHO continues to join with other public health and healthcare professionals across the nation to help people learn about vaccine safety and share how COVID-19 vaccines protect children, families, and communities.

Our nation’s vaccine review process includes careful analysis by the Food and Drug Administration, the Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and recommendations from major medical associations’ guidelines. These processes are robust, have safety at their core, and use the most recent data to evaluate the risks and benefits of vaccinations, including ideal dosage, scheduling, and populations that would benefit most from vaccination.

Millions of vaccines have been safely administered worldwide, including across a wide range of ages and underlying health concerns, saving countless lives.


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.