COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Ready to talk with your friends and family members about the COVID-19 vaccine?

 

You’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. And you want your friends and family to be vaccinated, too. Let’s be frank - some of the people you love aren’t going to choose vaccination and there’s nothing you can say or do to change their mind. 

 

But others are still deciding or are open to conversations and information that just might change their minds. 

 

OCCHD is here to help. You have questions and we have answers. This website and accompanying PDF serve as a toolkit for you to confidently share credible vaccination information and positively impact those you love and help them make the right choice for themselves.

COVID-19 Vaccine Facts

 

Tips for Tough Conversations

Talking to those you love about controversial subjects is hard. But it’s important to connect and discuss even difficult topics like vaccinations - maybe it’s even especially important! So we’ve developed some tips to help. 

  • Using active listening techniques like nodding your head and acknowledging their concerns. “It sounds like you’re concerned about …”

  • Use affirming language and statements like, “I understand. I had questions, too.” 

  • Connect your loved one to reputable sources. See the “Tips to Determine if a Source is Credible” section in this guide. [jump link to this section] 

  • Share your own vaccine story.

  • What initial questions did you have? Who did you ask for help? What resources did you use? When and where did you get vaccinated? What were your side effects? Be honest!

  • Remind others we all have a part to play in global health. Appeal to your loved one’s humanity.

  • Share with your loved one your ultimate “why”. Why did you choose vaccination?

  • Help them find their “why” - moving them from “why” to “why not”? Choose Today!

  • Help make it happen. Choose Today!

  • Assist with finding a location and, if necessary, scheduling an appointment.

  • Offer to go with your loved one or provide transportation.

  • Assist with paperwork.

  • Offer childcare during the appointment or after if they are feeling under the weather.

  • Remember you’re seeking to have conversation - not conflict. Don’t argue.

  • Have the conversation privately in person or in a private digital space. Don’t call your loved one out on social media or publicly shame them in any way.

  • Be mindful of your body language and tone.

  • Establish an approachable, non-aggressive posture. No crossed arms or hands on hips.

  • When you speak, be gentle and avoid sounding judgemental. Use inclusive language like “we”, “our” and “us” and “our communities” and “our families” to establish empathy. 

  • Consider what you and your loved one have in common and attempt to connect on shared values and beliefs.

  • Seek first to understand.

  • Ask open-ended questions - ones that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer.

  • Ask, “what are your concerns?” Don’t minimize or belittle those concerns.

  • Ask them to share their sources of information. These sources may give you insight to assist with overcoming concerns.  

  • Listen! 

  • Listen more than you talk.

 
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Vaccine Concerns & Myths

We have gathered some common and sensationalized myths along with facts that debunk those claims. While some of these COVID-19 vaccine myths are not broadly accepted, many are being widely circulated - on websites, social media, and TV - as facts. If you’re talking to friends or family who are generally undecided about the vaccine, here are some commonly held concerns and myths to consider.  

Concern - The vaccine is too new. I want to wait and see if it’s effective. 
  • More than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Oklahoma County, and more than 7 billion worldwide. The FDA granted emergency use authorization for the vaccines in December of 2020 and they have been widely administered since then. Data shows that while those who are vaccinated can still get the virus, the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death resulting from COVID-19 infection.

Concern - My child doesn’t need to get vaccinated because children don’t get very sick from COVID-19.
  • Getting the vaccine protects your child from both getting and spreading the virus. Though many cases in children are mild, the vaccine can protect your child from serious illness. Additionally, getting the vaccine means your child can stay in school and return to activities important to your family.

Concern - I am pregnant/breastfeeding, so I shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccination causes any pregnancy problems, including the development of the placenta. The vaccine is recommended for those who are breastfeeding. Reports indicate those who received Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have antibodies in their breast milk. More research is needed, but those antibodies could help protect breastfeeding babies.   

Concern - I have heard the COVID-19 vaccine causes reproductive problems - including infertility or miscarriage. 
  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccination (or any vaccine) causes fertility problems in women or men, or miscarriage. 

Myth - COVID-19 vaccines genetically modify humans or alter DNA. 
  • Fact - No. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, and

  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that uses a modified version of a different, harmless virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells to start building protection. The instructions are delivered in the form of genetic material but do not integrate into a person’s DNA.

Myth - Vaccines contain aborted fetal tissue.
  • Fact - The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain aborted fetal cell tissue.

Myth - Vaccines contain microchips and/or nano-transducers and were developed to control the population.
  • Fact - COVID-19 vaccines will not track your movement or gather personal information into a database. They do not contain microchips or any other kind of tracking device.

Myth - COVID-19 vaccinations can make you magnetic.
  • Fact - A COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic. All vaccines are metal free and do not include ingredients that produce an electromagnetic field at your injection site. 

For more examples, visit our Get the Facts page.

 

Tips to Determine if a Source is Credible

“I read on Facebook that vaccines…”

“A blogger I follow said…”

“My cousin knew someone who…” 

“I heard on a news show that…”

 

Misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines is seemingly everywhere. Much of the vaccine hesitancy that exists among the unvaccinated is a result of misleading, inaccurate or false information. Accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop myths and rumors.

 

How do you know what sources of information to trust? Family and friends may need your assistance identifying credible sources and assistance spotting when a COVID-19 vaccine information source is suspect. 

 

The Office of the U.S. Surgeon General released an excellent resource titled A Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation. The guide suggests using the following checklist every time you come across health-related content. Encourage your family and friends to ask themselves these questions when deciding if COVID-19 information is accurate:

 

  • Did you check with the CDC or local public health department (OCCHD!) to see whether there is any information about the claim being made?

  • Did you ask a credible health care professional such as your doctor or nurse if they have any additional information?

  • Did you type the claim into a search engine to see if it has been verified by a credible source?

  • Did you look at the “About Us” page on the website to see if you can trust the source?

 

For more tips, check out the U.S. Public Health Service’s Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation

 

Vaccine Availability

Vaccines are safe. Vaccines reliably prevent serious COVID-19 illness. And vaccines are widely available at no charge! When your once-undecided family or friends “choose today” to vaccinate, point them to vaxokc.com for a number of convenient clinic options.

 

Stay Connected With OCCHD

Let’s end this pandemic one vaccine at a time. 

 

  • Have questions? Get answers. Call OCCHD’s hotline at (405) 425-4489.

  • Like and Follow OCCHD for up-to-date community health information, tips for encouraging others to vaccinate, where to receive vaccinations, where to receive the booster shot and more.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

General COVID-19 and COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

 

Data:

 

Facts and Myths:

 

Tough Conversations:

 

Credible Sources and Health Misinformation:
 
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