Experts at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have created a coloring book to help children learn about vaccines and how they work to prevent COVID-19. The coloring book comes on the heels of the US Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. Developed and reviewed by patient education and infectious disease specialists at St. Jude, the coloring book is available for download on the Together by St. Jude web-based resource.
A St. Jude Coloring Book: COVID-19 Vaccines answers questions about COVID-19 vaccines in words children can understand. “A COVID-19 vaccine uses the body’s immune system to fight the coronavirus,” the book reads. “Your immune system is like a team of superheroes that protect you from germs.” The book also uses simple pictures to show how the vaccine works to help your body make antibodies to fight the virus that causes COVID-19.
“The vaccine coloring book offers children the opportunity to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine by coloring images of doctors, children and the COVID-19 virus,” said Rachel Schmelzer, a child life specialist at St. Jude. “The illustrations in the book help to prepare children for the vaccination process and explain how the vaccine works to protect their bodies from COVID-19.”
Free Online Coloring Books: A St. Jude Initiative for Patient Education and Care
Together by St. Jude published its first coloring book on COVID-19 in 2020. Learn About the Coronavirus helped children understand the virus and taught ways to stay healthy by keeping a distance, wearing a mask, and washing hands often. That coloring book was translated into 16 different languages and was downloaded over 14,000 times in more than 150 countries and territories.
“Throughout the pandemic, parents have struggled through numerous difficult conversations with their children. We want to prepare our children for the significant changes in their daily lives and teach them how to stay safe, but how can we do this without scaring them?” said Niki Jurbergs, PhD, St. Jude Psychology Department. “We created these coloring books to prepare parents with the tools they need to introduce these new and potentially scary concepts in an age-appropriate way. Having a plan ahead of time, including talking points, can make parents feel more comfortable during this conversation.”
The coloring books are an example of how Together by St. Jude supports the hospital in setting the standard for pediatric cancer care and patient experience. St. Jude staff collaborated with infectious diseases specialists to create accurate but accessible and interactive educational material to meet the needs of families affected by pediatric cancer. The coloring books have value for parents and children everywhere, not just St. Jude patients.
In addition to the two COVID-19 coloring books, Together by St. Jude has also released Riley Takes Medicine, a coloring book that teaches children undergoing cancer treatment about the different types of drugs and the importance of medication compliance. All three coloring books are available for free to download.
About Together by St. Jude
Together by St. Jude is a comprehensive online resource dedicated to pediatric cancer patients and their families. It provides trustworthy, up-to-date medical information and connects families facing pediatric cancer with personally relevant topics in a clear, easy to use format. Together by St. Jude focuses on providing content that appeals to a variety of preferred learning styles and offers resources that families can use throughout the entire cancer journey. Content have been translated into 8 different languages. Like Together on Facebook.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening disorders. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 60 years ago. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. To learn more, visit stjude.org, read St. Jude Progress blog, and follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.