Becoming a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider
Part 7: Vaccine Messaging
Helpful topics to consider when you are considering vaccine messaging.
You are a trusted messenger!
Patients consistently rank healthcare providers as their most trusted source of vaccine information. Your strong recommendation to get a COVID-19 vaccine is critical for vaccine acceptance.
- Make it clear to your patients that you recommend COVID-19 vaccination for them.
- Tell your patients how important COVID-19 vaccines are to protecting their health, as well as the health of their family and friends.
- COVID-19 vaccines are new, and it’s understandable that your patients may have questions. Your answers can help them make an informed decision about getting vaccinated.
- Make it clear that you understand they may have questions, and you want to answer them, so they feel confident in choosing to get vaccinated.
How to talk to your patients
1. Start from a place of empathy and understanding
2. Assume patients will want to be vaccinated but may not know where to get a vaccine or how to make an appointment
3. Give your strong recommendation for the vaccine
4. Listen and respond to patient questions
5. Wrap up the conversation with at least one action such as:
- Scheduling a vaccination appointment with your facility, another vaccination provider, or pharmacy,
- Reading the additional information you provide to them about COVID-19 vaccination, or
- Learning how they can find a COVID-19 vaccine and what to expect at their vaccination appointment.
6. Continue to remind them about importance at future visits
- Common persuasive styles (commanding, advising, lecturing or shaming) can often backfire.
- Motivational interviewing skills can help communicate persuasively.
- Check out this helpful interactive article from the NY times
- “Your Friend Doesn’t Want the Vaccine. What Do You Say?”
Key Messages for Your Patients
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- Everyone aged 12 years and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Besides our office, there are several places to find a COVID-19 vaccine.
- You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal.
- It typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the 2nd dose of a two-dose vaccine or 2 weeks after a one-dose vaccine.
- People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
New Mexico Specific Messaging
Messaging about Common Concerns
- Clarify misperception about side effects: death, blood clots, etc.; this will also affect parents’ decisions about their kids
- Communicate that those who are vaccinated benefit from avoiding serious symptoms and death
- Communicate that when more people get vaccinated, they don’t have to wear a mask when seeing family, eating out, or attending events
- Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
- Handout on Side Effects: What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
Address Common Concerns
- “I am worried about Blood Clots”
1 in 1 million vaccinated people with blood clots versus 1 in 600 chance of dying from COVID-19
- “I am worried about dying from the vaccine”
Vaccine prevents death and hospitalization from COVID-19; 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19;
- I am worried that I can get COVID-19 from the vaccine
Vaccines are safe and effective and you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
- I am worried about the vaccine causing infertility
No evidence that any vaccines cause fertility problems; You can also safely get vaccine if breastfeeding or pregnant.; Great Video from Alabama by OBGYN on safety of Vaccine for women
- I am worried about nausea, fatigue, mild fever, and having a sore arm
Exercise arm, drink fluids, take tylenol/ibuprofen for mild fever
Link: What to expect after getting COVID Vaccine
- Survey data from DOH identified concerns about ID, insurance and cost
- Posters address these concerns in multiple languages
Educational Materials for Patients
Benefits of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
- COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccination is a safe way to help build protection.
- COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to the moments we miss.
What you can do when fully vaccinated
- You can resume indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations including local business and workplace guidance.
- If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
- HHS: COVID-19 Public Education Campaign Resources
- HHS: Talking Points for Health Care Leaders to Encourage Vaccine Confidence
- Vaccine Communication Toolkit for Medical Centers, Clinics, Pharmacies, and Clinicians
- Pediatric Healthcare Professionals COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit
- Key Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines
- Frequently Asked Questions about Vaccination
- Vaccine Recipient Education
- Sample letter to patients to encourage COVID-19 vaccination