Underthink’s PSA encourages childhood immunizations

The American Academy of Pediatrics today released TV public service announcements portraying parents who get their children caught up on their vaccines as animated superheroes, the latest installment in the AAP’s Call Your Pediatrician campaign urging childhood immunizations.

Getting children caught up on all of their immunizations is one of the most important things that parents can do for their children. It’s a superhero moment. 

The AAP created the PSA in response to a troubling trend during the pandemic: Significant numbers of parents have postponed or skipped their children’s immunizations against contagious, preventable illnesses like measles, mumps and polio.

A Blue Cross Blue Shield analysis in late 2020 found a 26% drop in vaccine doses since the pandemic began. And 40% percent of parents surveyed by Blue Cross said their children missed shots because of COVID-19.

“We know it has been challenging for parents to manage during the pandemic, but it’s very dangerous to skip or delay childhood immunizations,” said Dr. Lee Savio Beers, the AAP’s national president. “Especially now, as in-person school and other group activities are resuming in so many communities.”

In addition, once the COVID vaccine becomes available to children, it cannot be given at the same time as other vaccines, so children who are not caught up on their immunizations will fall even further behind.

The 15- and 30-second PSA spots feature parent-and-child actors and are being distributed nationwide in English and Spanish, on television and via social media.

The PSA was created by M. Harris & Co. and produced by Underthink Studio with direction by Pete Noback, illustration by Brent Schoonover and music by Paul Pilot, composer of the Emmy-nominated music documentary Laurel Canyon.   

Unvaccinated children are at risk of contracting preventable diseases that can cause lifelong disability or death. The consequences of delaying or skipping vaccinations could be devastating for millions of children. Parents have the power to protect their children, themselves and their family by calling their pediatrician and making an appointment.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on health care providers, schools, state and local governments, and families to work to get kids caught up on vaccines as soon as possible so they’ll be protected when schools re-open for in-person learning.

Facts about child and adolescent immunizations:

  • Recommended childhood vaccines start just after birth and last through the teenage years.
  • Here is the recommended schedule for birth through age 6 and 7-18.
  • The schedule of immunizations has been researched and documented to be the most effective and safe way to protect children from disease.
  • Vaccines are carefully timed to provide protection when children are most vulnerable, and when the vaccines will produce the strongest response from the child’s immune system.
  • If your child misses a shot, you don’t need to start over. Just go back to your child’s doctor for the next shot.
  • Children who might not otherwise get vaccinated and who qualify can receive vaccines at no charge through the federally funded Vaccines for Children


Underthink Studio
Underthink, LLC
2041 West Carroll Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612

Director / Producer: Pete Noback
Production Supervisor: Ryan Stefan
DP: Chris Strong
Camera Op: Sean O’ Connor
Gaffer: Charles Bouril
Hair & Makeup: Rachel Reiman
Editor: Mark Sheridan
Illustrator: Brent Schoonover
Animation: Chelsea Low
Music: Paul Pilot
Mix: George Lampros
Color: Jeff Altman