With 3 totally different COVID-19 vaccines now in the marketplace in the US, and an increasing number of folks getting vaccinated each day, plenty 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, just a little disclaimer: the vaccine panorama is altering quick! New photographs could also be out there quickly, and pointers could shift as researchers collect information from ongoing trials. However based mostly on what we all know now, attempt the following pointers:
- Stress that each one 3 approved 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 12 months 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 will 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 know-how, folks could marvel concerning the distinction between that method and Johnson & Johnson’s adenovirus supply system. However researchers haven’t but finished an apples-to-apples, head-to-head-to-head scientific trial to check the three vaccines. Once they do, key variations could emerge — like one proving more practical towards a sure variant. So, to keep away from pesky U-turns down the road, follow the details: we’re nonetheless gathering information — however we all know they’ve all gone by rigorous security testing, and we all know that each 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 healthier than one other, it is smart for well being communicators to encourage folks to get whichever vaccine they’re supplied first. As a result of the finest vaccine is the one you will get earlier than you come into contact with the virus. And with the pandemic nonetheless raging and vaccine demand nonetheless outstripping provide, now will not be the time to buy round.
- Be trustworthy about every part we all know and don’t know. Specialists are hopeful that the vaccines will stop folks from spreading the virus — however we want extra time and information to know for positive. We’re additionally undecided precisely how lengthy safety from the vaccines will final. However we can guarantee folks that 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 increased charges than Black and Hispanic folks. And since we all know that racism and different social components make Black and Hispanic folks extra prone 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 colour, and name for policymakers and establishments to do higher.
- Supply easy-to-understand steerage for absolutely vaccinated folks. As soon as folks get their photographs, they’re prone to have a complete lot of questions! CDC now gives some particular pointers, however the gist is: absolutely vaccinated folks can do extra issues safely (huzzah!), however they’ll’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 absolutely vaccinated mates can hang around indoors with out masks, similar to in olden occasions! So proceed to advertise the beneficial security measures — however don’t overlook to have fun 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 people! Speaking concerning the #COVID19 vaccine rollout? Be clear and encourage everybody to take their first shot at safety, says @CommunicateHlth: https://bit.ly/38Vo2GO #communicateCOVID #HealthLit