With 3 totally different COVID-19 vaccines now in the marketplace within the United States, and increasingly individuals getting vaccinated each day, a lot of difficult new well being comm questions are popping up! So this week, we’re sharing some tricks to talk clearly concerning the vaccine rollout.
First, slightly disclaimer: the vaccine panorama is altering quick! New pictures could also be obtainable quickly, and pointers might shift as researchers collect knowledge from ongoing trials. But primarily based on what we all know now, strive the following pointers:
- Stress that every one 3 licensed vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are protected and efficient. Understating vaccine advantages might be as dangerous as overstating them — so inform individuals how wonderful these pictures are! Just over a yr into this devastating pandemic, we now haven’t 1, not 2, however 3 vaccines that may assist stop illness and dying from COVID-19. That’s some good well being information we are able to all shout from the rooftops.
- Don’t say they’re precisely the identical. After on a regular basis we public well being people have spent explaining mRNA expertise, individuals might surprise concerning the distinction between that method and Johnson & Johnson’s adenovirus delivery system. But researchers haven’t but achieved an apples-to-apples, head-to-head-to-head medical trial to match the three vaccines. When they do, key variations might emerge — like one proving more practical in opposition to a sure variant. So, to keep away from pesky U-turns down the road, follow the info: we’re nonetheless gathering knowledge — however we all know they’ve all gone by rigorous security testing, and we all know that every one 3 work rather well.
- Encourage everybody to get the primary vaccine they’re supplied. Since we don’t but know sufficient to say whether or not one shot is best than one other, it is smart for well being communicators to encourage individuals to get whichever vaccine they’re supplied first. Because the best vaccine is the one you can get earlier than you come into contact with the virus. And with the pandemic nonetheless raging and vaccine demand nonetheless outstripping provide, now shouldn’t be the time to buy round.
- Be trustworthy about all the pieces we all know and don’t know. Experts are hopeful that the vaccines will stop individuals from spreading the virus — however we’d like extra time and knowledge to know for positive. We’re additionally unsure precisely how lengthy safety from the vaccines will final. But we can guarantee folks that any of the three vaccines will assist shield them (no less than within the brief time period) from getting sick with COVID-19.
- Keep up the requires vaccine fairness. As vaccination stats roll in throughout the nation, it’s clear that white people are getting vaccines at much higher rates than Black and Hispanic people. And since we all know that racism and other social factors make Black and Hispanic people more likely to get sick and die from COVID-19, these vaccine disparities are usually not solely unjust, however lethal. As well being communicators, we have to title this downside, prioritize outreach and entry for communities of colour, and name for policymakers and establishments to do higher.
- Offer easy-to-understand steerage for absolutely vaccinated individuals. Once individuals get their pictures, they’re more likely to have a complete lot of questions! CDC now offers some specific guidelines, however the gist is: absolutely vaccinated individuals can do extra issues safely (huzzah!), however they will’t behave just like the pandemic is over. For instance, we’ll all nonetheless be carrying our masks to the grocery retailer for some time. But absolutely vaccinated mates can hang around indoors with out masks, similar to in olden instances! So proceed to advertise the really useful security measures — however don’t overlook to rejoice the freedoms vaccines are bringing again.
The backside line: To talk clearly throughout vaccine rollout, be clear and encourage everybody to take their first shot at safety.
Tweet about it: Hey, #HealthComm folks! Communicating about the #COVID19 vaccine rollout? Be transparent and encourage everyone to take their first shot at protection, says @CommunicateHlth: https://bit.ly/38Vo2GO #communicateCOVID #HealthLit