First Lady Jill Biden kicked off a nationwide effort urging parents and guardians to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19 by visiting a pediatric coronavirus vaccination clinic at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in Virginia.
Asked what she would say to hesitant parents, the first lady said the vaccines are "safe, they're effective and they're free."
Franklin Sherman Elementary School, which was founded in 1915, was the first school to administer the polio vaccine in 1954. There are currently 355 students at this school. Biden handed out stickers to some of the 30 children in the waiting room after having received their vaccination.
"This is the best way to protect your children against COVID-19," the first lady later told a gathering of parents.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy joined the first lady on the trip, echoing her remarks.
"Look, I'm a parent, too. First and foremost, I've got a 5-year-old son. I'm eager to take him to get vaccinated, but we want all parents out there to know these vaccines are there to protect our kids," Murthy said. "We've been waiting for this a long time. We've got safe and effective options. We want parents to consider them strongly. Get their kids vaccinated."
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.