Discuss the Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination

Pharmacy teams are well positioned to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence based on their accessibility to patients and the trusting relationships that already exist. Know the elements of effective vaccine conversations to make a strong recommendation for COVID-19 vaccination.

Motivational Interviewing

May 27 – CPE Available

Explore examples of vaccine hesitancy among different populations, discuss solutions to address vaccine hesitancy across various cultural groups, and identify strategies for the equitable delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations.

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Open Forum Webinar: Myth vs. Fact – Vaccine Hesitancy

April 8 – CPE Available

Learn how to recommend COVID-19 vaccines to the patients you serve. Hear practical tips for navigating these conversations from an expert on CDC’s Vaccinate with Confidence Team, Dr. Stephen Perez, PhD, RN, CRNP, ACRN.

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Open Forum Webinar: Introduction to COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

January 28 – Access the Slides

review the research around discussing the importance of COVID-19 vaccination with patients from pharmacist Susan Winckler, RPh, Esq, CEO of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for FDA, and Emily Brunson, a researcher and cultural anthropologist.

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Podcast: COVID-19 Myths and Facts

Dr. Takova Wallace-Gay, clinical associate professor of pharmacy at the University of Texas at Tyler, dispels some of the most common myths about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Listen on SoundCloud

Review Tips for Effective Communication

Print out and refer to these helpful ways you can modify the words you use to communicate with patients most effectively.

Quick Tip

How can pharmacists reinforce the importance of everyone getting vaccinated?

Make a Strong Recommendation for COVID-19 Vaccination

  1. Start by asking patients whether they have received their COVID-19 vaccine. Assume patients will want to be vaccinated but may not know where to get a vaccine or how to make an appointment.
  2. If the patient is hesitant about vaccination, show empathy. Know what drives vaccine confidence and remember that all concerns are valid. Begin by listening to the patient to show respect and build trust. Ask open-ended questions like:

    “What is keeping you from being vaccinated?”

    “Would you mind sharing your concerns?”

  3. Acknowledge their fears or concerns, show empathy. Make it personal if you can. You could consider responding with:

    “It sounds like you’re concerned about possible side effects.”

    “I had those same worries at first. What helped me was…”

    “It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into this.”

    Listen to a success story: COVID Vaccination Conversations: Speaking from the Heart

  4. Ask to share the facts most relevant to their concerns. If they’ve asked questions, answer those questions. You could consider the following:

    “I have some information that others have found helpful. May I share it with you?”

    Listen to a success story: Vaccine Confidence: Giving Patients the Facts So they Can Make Their Decision

  5. After establishing rapport, make a clear recommendation that the patient be vaccinated. Pair this strong recommendation with a why, such as:

    “Each COVID-19 vaccination puts us one step closer to getting through this pandemic.”

    “I decided to get vaccinated because…”

    “Vaccination protects the person who gets the vaccine, and the people around them.”

    “There are many benefits to being vaccinated, such as….”

  6. Don’t give up! Even if the patient declines vaccination today, encourage them to discuss their concern with others you know will champion the idea of getting vaccinated or to review more information for patients. Remember that hesitant patients often take a “wait and see” approach, so it’s important for them to know that you’re available for future conversations.

    Listen to a success story: Vaccine Confidence Conversations: Leaving the Door Open

  7. Double check your diagnosis. Maybe the issue is not vaccine hesitancy but rather vaccine apathy. Vaccine apathy is a state of disinterest, where a person has spent little time considering vaccination and is not inclined to take action. The remedy for apathy might involve motivation.

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