Now that all U.S. adults are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, we’re getting to the point where many of those wanting to get vaccinated have. But there’s still 30% of people who are open but unsure about getting a vaccine. And it’s also up to employers to communicate frequently and accurately about them to their workforce.
And here’s why: “The more people see those around them get vaccinated, particularly family and friends, the more comfortable they become with getting vaccinated themselves,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said during a recent White House briefing.
Add that to the fact that business leaders are some of the most trusted sources of information, beating out government officials and the media, according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer. The study found that, as overall trust has eroded during the pandemic, people see businesses as more trustworthy, ethical and competent than the government or media.
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, for starters, you’ve got to have a solid vaccine communications plan.
Despite more than half of U.S. adults receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said that hospitalizations and cases among younger, unvaccinated people are increasing in some places.
To increase vaccine confidence, the team at the Ad Council said they’re focusing their efforts on “the moveable middle,” those who are still on the fence about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Because this is the biggest issue of our lifetime, we knew we had to build a really big tent,” Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said during a recent Health Action Alliance town hall. “We knew the business community could play such a crucial role in this."
Partnering with physicians, faith leaders, medical providers and businesses, their multifaceted COVID-19 vaccine awareness campaign was designed to ensure people can access information and resources that would allow them to make their own informed, science-driven decisions about getting vaccinated.
We’ve also seen our partners using their communications channels to distribute timely and accurate information to their employees. For instance, Texas Roadhouse shared their tagline “Don’t hesitate, vaccinate!” on Hot Schedules, flyers for each of their locations, their internal support center and on-site digital screens.
And Bloomin’ Brands is using “vaccine champions” to encourage employee vaccine confidence as well as eye-catching graphics on employee portals, brand videos and a dashboard operators can use to measure company success. They’re also using the Zero Hour Health Vaccine Chat Line.
"Our people are our most important asset and we need to reach them where they are, especially on this very emotional topic,” Cathie Koch, told us during our April webinar. “Empathy has never been more important than it is today."
So, how can you create your own vaccine communications plan? Here are some tips.