The following talking points provide guidance on our priority messages, but they are not a script—it’s best when put you these messages into your own words.
According to recent public opinion data, concerns about side effects and sped-up approval process drive vaccine uncertainty much more than vaccine opposition, so these talking points are designed to overcome these common barriers and misconceptions.
- Misleading health information is everywhere. Emergency physicians like me have been fighting this virus for more than a year, and we know that vaccines are the best protection we have against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
- The development of the vaccines was not rushed. The U.S. removed some logistical barriers to expedite development of the vaccine without cutting corners.
- Each available vaccine available had to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) usual vaccine approval process to ensure they provide the appropriate protections and meet all required safety measures.
- The emergency use authorization simply allows these vaccines to be available as soon as safely possible.
- Rigorous clinical trials have proven the COVID-19 vaccines to be effective and safe.
- Hundreds of millions of people have safely received the vaccines.
- The vaccines provide strong protection against the various strains of the virus, including current outbreak of the Delta strain.
- Data has shown that it is safe for pregnant women, and the CDC recommends vaccination for pregnant women, who are at particularly high risk for the virus.
- Very few people have side effects, and they tend to be mild.
- The side effects from the vaccine do not compare to the common, long-term effects of contracting COVID-19.
- It is still safer to get the vaccine despite a few breakthrough cases of vaccinated people who got COVID-19.
- Research shows that people who don’t get the vaccine are more likely to get severely ill, require hospitalization, and potentially die.
- Not only will getting vaccinated protect you, but it will help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to others who you’re around who are either too young or too sick to get the vaccine. This is especially important for:
- Parents of children under the age of 12 (and are therefore too young to get the vaccine);
- Those who live in multigenerational homes; and,
Those who are around immunocompromised individuals.