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FRAMINGHAM – Jewish Family Service of Metrowest (JFS) is making vaccine education accessible to Spanish-, Portuguese-, and English-speaking children through book translations and free video read-alouds.

Discussing the intricacies of the pandemic with children can be difficult. JFS is trying to change that.

With the recent authorization of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines and an emerging new variant, JFS is educating immigrant children on how to protect themselves and their communities as well as helping to inform parents’ decisions on getting their children vaccinated.

The initiative was inspired by the release of JFS Volunteer and recent Stanford University graduate Emma Rashes’s new children’s book Lily the Llama Helps Her Herd.

This beautifully illustrated book teaches children about herd immunity, explaining the importance of vaccination.

Rashes spoke on her motivation for writing the book: “In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, I became increasingly aware of the abundance of anti-vaccine information and the lack of pro-vaccine scientific resources targeted at families, and higher rates of vaccine hesitancy among communities of color in the United States.”

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Rashes also cited a decrease in routine childhood vaccination-rates since the start of the pandemic, which “put communities in our country at risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease when children returned to in-person school.”

Rashes hopes that the book will play a role in combating vaccine hesitancy and serve as an educational resource for families.

Thanks to translations by JFS CEO Lino Covarrubius and the JFS Immigrant Services team, the book is now available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese in both hard copy and video read-aloud formats.

“Our local immigrant community was especially hit hard by COVID-19. Having ways to accelerate vaccinations and dispel myths about the COVID-19 vaccine was and continues to be a high priority for JFS. Lilly the Llama was one of many initiatives we put in place to accomplish this very important lifesaving work. The book is a very helpful and creative way for parents/guardians to talk to their children about the vaccine. It has made a huge difference,” said Covarrubius.


In full transparency, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media through its business wire service.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.