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Vaccination

Vaccination is our number-one weapon against this virus. Use these tools and information to help encourage greater vaccine uptake in your community!

Encouraging vaccination

Support COVID-19 vaccination among your students, staff, and community using these tools.

Vaccination clinics in schools

Planning an on-campus clinic? The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials has all the legal details you need to know, and the CDC has both the logistical and the communications details covered.

Promoting vaccines before your clinic

  • Vaccine Videos Social Media Kit Videos by teens, for teens. The kit includes Twitter handles to follow and #hashtags to use. Created by the ABC Science Collaborative, in North Carolina.
  • Health Workers Beat the Virus A series of videos and radio spots created by community health workers and health-equity teams to encourage COVID-19 testing and vaccination in under-resourced populations. Content is available in English, Hindi, Nepali, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili. From the University of Kansas Medical Center.
  • Health Resource Library for Native American Communities Everything from fact sheets and graphics to videos and radio recordings. Use the center dropdown menu and search under “vaccines.” From the Center for American Indian Health at Johns Hopkins University.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Materials Flyers and infographics in English and Spanish, from the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center at ASU.

Families’ questions, answered

Find yourself faced with a tough question?

Here are answers to some of the top concerns raised by parents in a national study.

You can also download a handout with more detailed answers from Dr. Katelyn Jetelina,
aka Your Local Epidemiologist (available in English and Spanish).

  • Do the vaccines work?

    You bet they do! Most importantly, they’re really good at keeping people from getting seriously ill and dying.

    How good? Here are a couple of ways to look at it:

    • You’re about 25 times less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated.
    • If you’re vaccinated, you have about a one to three in a thousand chance of being infected - and if you do, chances are you’ll just feel like you got a bad cold.

    If they work so well, why are vaccinated people getting infected?

    • Blame the math: As more people in a population get vaccinated, the percentage of infected people who are vaccinated also rises.This article includes two video animations that show how this relationship works.
    • And don’t forget vaccines are not magical force fields. The COVID vaccines’ primary job is to keep people from getting seriously ill and dying, and they continue to do extremely well. No vaccine is 100% effective, and yet vaccination isone of the most effective public-health measures in human history.
  • What are the side effects like?

    All of the available vaccines have the same set of common side effects: Tiredness, headache, muscle aches, chills, and pain at the injection site. (Not that you’ll get all of them - you might get just one, or none at all.)

    If you do happen to experience a side effect, it typically lasts for two days or less - much better than getting COVID, which can last for weeks (or longer!).

    And remember why the side effects happen: Because your immune system is doing its job. But if you don’t have any side effects, don’t fret - the vaccine will still work for you.

  • Do kids really need a COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes, and here’s why:

    • There are over 70 million children in the United States. That’s 70 million opportunities for the virus to mutate into something more contagious, more deadly, or both.
    • Kids - especially younger ones - can transmit COVID to other people. They’re especially likely to give it to members of their households. And to guests at their birthday parties.
    • More than 4,000 kids in the US have gottenmulti-inflammatory syndrome in children (a potentially fatal condition) as a result of having COVID-19.
    • Kids under 16 who get COVID-19 are 30 times more likely to get myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) than kids who don’t get infected.
    • A small but significant percentage of kids who are infected will get long COVID. With symptoms like extreme fatigue and shortness of breath, this syndrome seriously disrupts kids’ lives for weeks to months, and we don’t know what its long-term consequences will be for them.
  • Are there long-term side effects?

    Highly unlikely. How can we know this, since the vaccines have only been around since 2020?

    • The body breaks down and removes the vaccine materials within 72 hours (three days).
    • The longest it’s ever taken for vaccine side effects to show up is two months.
  • Answers for kids, both big and little

    NPR asked teenagers for their most pressing questions about the COVID vaccines. Here are the answers pediatricians and other experts gave in response.

    This video from Boston Children’s Hospital explains how vaccines work using words and animations that little kids can understand.

The facts about the vax

Whenever technology is new, people have questions about it.
  • All the answers

    The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides answers to pretty much every vaccine question there is, and they keep it up-to-date. They also debunk the latest misinformation.

    The It’s Up to You campaign at getvaccineanswers.org responds to a wide range of vaccine questions in English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. From the Ad Council, the COVID Collaborative, and the CDC.

  • Debunking misinformation

    The WHO’s Mythbusters page addresses ALL the unfounded rumors about the vaccine.

    Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines, from the CDC, addresses the misinformation that’s the most widespread.

    The Stronger.org national campaign against vaccine misinformation has a great TikTok feed addressing everything from garden-variety concerns to conspiracy theories. Their Instagram feed has some great social-media graphics, too!

  • Using mRNA wasn’t a new idea

    The idea for the technology behind the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines had been around since the late 1970s, and scientists have been developing that technology intensively since the early 2000s.

    Pfizer and BioNtech started working together on a flu vaccine using mRNA in 2018. When the pandemic hit, they simply switched the vaccine’s target from influenza to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Why hadn’t this kind of vaccine been used before? Because it’s hard to keep the body from getting rid of the mRNA too fast. The vaccines protect the mRNA by enclosing it in a tiny bubble of fat, which helps it stick around long enough for your body to recognize it.

  • How do the mRNA vaccines work?

    The shortest explanation possible: mRNA vaccines give your body instructions for how to make a protein that normally appears on the outside of the virus. Your body reads the instructions from the vaccine, makes the protein, and throws the instructions out.

    Then your body sees the protein and says, “What’s that?? That’s not me! Kill it!” Your body makes some tools, uses the tools to kill the protein, and saves the tools for later use . . . just in case.

    Later on, when the real virus shows up wearing that protein, your body will recognize it and will have the tools to kill it.

    This video explains the above with simple animations. Looking for something more detailed? Try this one (available in both English and Spanish).

    High-school students may also appreciate this Twitter feed explanation (warning: includes profanity).

  • How were the vaccines ready so fast?

    Three reasons: Preparation, teamwork, and cash. (Want this explanation in animated video format? Here you go!)

    1. Preparation: Fifty years of research on coronaviruses + more than a decade of research into creating mRNA vaccines = knowing what to target and how to target it.
    2. Teamwork: A worldwide pandemic provides amazing motivation for scientists to collaborate internationally.
    3. Cash (this is the biggie): Normally, drug companies don’t make lots of doses of a vaccine until they have proof that the vaccine works. Once they have that proof, it takes a while after that for them to ramp up production.

      Because we needed these vaccines so badly, the US government gave companies enough money that they could go ahead and make thousands of doses while they were still testing the vaccine. So this time, the moment research showed that the vaccines worked, there were doses ready to go!

Important Regulatory Information about SalivaDirect™

SalivaDirect™has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. This test is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.