As the Delta variant continues to rapidly spread and recent federal data shows a record-high number of children are hospitalized because of COVID-19, Governor Laura Kelly this week released two new ads encouraging students and their families to use public health practices as they head back to school this fall. 

“Record numbers of children are catching the virus and being hospitalized from COVID-19,” Governor Kelly said. “As we head back to school, it’s critical that all Kansas students, teachers, and staff wear masks, get tested regularly and, if you’re 12 or older, get vaccinated. That’s how we keep our kids safe and in the classroom.” 

The first ad, “Kids Spread Germs,” talks about just how contagious and serious the Delta variant is and urges parents to follow the three core steps to keep kids safe: getting a free and safe vaccine if you’re 12 and older, wearing masks in public (including in school), and getting tested regularly for the virus. 

The second ad, “Your Decision,” urges college students who are over the age of 18 to get the information they need and make the decision to get a free and safe vaccine. View the ad here.

Both ads come as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for people 16 years of age and older. The vaccine continues to be available for people 12-15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in moderately or severely immunocompromised people through emergency use authorization.

Current data make clear that those who are not vaccinated are at the greatest risk right now. 99% of COVID deaths and over 97% of COVID hospitalizations nationally have been among people who were not vaccinated. The vaccine is safe, free, and can help save lives. 

Governor Kelly encourages anyone who has questions about the vaccine to visit

Testing, like the vaccine, is free, even if you have been tested before. For more information on where you can be tested for COVID-19, visit: