With 3 totally different COVID-19 vaccines now available on the market in the USA, and increasingly more folks getting vaccinated daily, numerous tough new well being comm questions are popping up! So this week, we’re sharing some tricks to talk clearly concerning the vaccine rollout.
First, a little bit disclaimer: the vaccine panorama is altering quick! New photographs could also be accessible quickly, and tips might shift as researchers collect information from ongoing trials. However primarily based on what we all know now, attempt the following tips:
- Stress that each one 3 licensed vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are protected and efficient. Understating vaccine advantages may be as dangerous as overstating them — so inform folks how superb these photographs are! Simply over a yr into this devastating pandemic, we now haven’t 1, not 2, however 3 vaccines that may assist forestall illness and demise from COVID-19. That’s some good well being information we will all shout from the rooftops.
- Don’t say they’re precisely the identical. After on a regular basis we public well being of us have spent explaining mRNA know-how, folks might marvel concerning the distinction between that method and Johnson & Johnson’s adenovirus supply system. However researchers haven’t but accomplished an apples-to-apples, head-to-head-to-head medical trial to check the three vaccines. Once they do, key variations might emerge — like one proving simpler towards a sure variant. So, to keep away from pesky U-turns down the road, persist with the info: we’re nonetheless gathering information — however we all know they’ve all gone by way of rigorous security testing, and we all know that each one 3 work rather well.
- Encourage everybody to get the primary vaccine they’re provided. Since we don’t but know sufficient to say whether or not one shot is best than one other, it is sensible for well being communicators to encourage folks to get whichever vaccine they’re provided first. As a result of the perfect vaccine is the one you may 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 every thing we all know and don’t know. Consultants are hopeful that the vaccines will forestall folks from spreading the virus — however we want extra time and information to know for certain. We’re additionally unsure precisely how lengthy safety from the vaccines will final. However we can guarantee those who any of the three vaccines will assist shield them (a minimum of within the brief time period) from getting sick with COVID-19.
- Sustain the requires vaccine fairness. As vaccination stats roll in throughout the nation, it’s clear that white individuals are getting vaccines at a lot larger charges than Black and Hispanic folks. And since we all know that racism and different social elements make Black and Hispanic folks extra more likely to get sick and die from COVID-19, these vaccine disparities should not solely unjust, however lethal. As well being communicators, we have to identify this downside, prioritize outreach and entry for communities of shade, and name for policymakers and establishments to do higher.
- Provide easy-to-understand steerage for totally vaccinated folks. As soon as folks get their photographs, they’re more likely to have a complete lot of questions! CDC now provides some particular tips, however the gist is: totally vaccinated folks 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. However totally vaccinated pals can hang around indoors with out masks, similar to in olden instances! So proceed to advertise the beneficial security measures — however don’t overlook to have a good time the freedoms vaccines are bringing again.
The underside line: To speak 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