Communicating With a General Audience

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Talking points

  • Getting vaccinated will mean spending more time with loved ones and engaging with your community.
  • All the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States are safe. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines will continue to undergo extensive safety monitoring. CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as you are eligible.
  • All available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19, including from the Delta variant.

    Remember, to get the most protection from the vaccines, you need all the recommended doses:

    • The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two initial doses.
    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine requires one initial dose.
    If you meet the criteria for having a compromised immune system, you should get a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least 4 weeks after your second dose. An FDA and CDC review of data for Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine will determine whether a second dose is appropriate for people with compromised immune systems.
  • COVID-19 spreads most commonly between people who are in close contact with one another. To protect yourself and your loved ones, wear a mask over your nose and mouth inside public places (even vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high spread of COVID-19 should wear a mask inside public places), stay at least 6 feet away (which is about 2 arm lengths) from people who don’t live in your household, and avoid crowds and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren't available.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects in some people, but serious side effects are extremely rare. Most side effects go away on their own in a few days. The most common side effect is a sore arm at the injection site.
  • Safe COVID vaccines were developed quickly through use of a century of vaccine experience; technology that was new to vaccines but had been studied for two decades; a prototype coronavirus vaccine already in development at National Institutes of Health; and tens of thousands of volunteers for clinical trials that enabled rapid accumulation of data on safety and effectiveness. Simultaneous vaccine production and analysis of testing data also allowed vaccines to be shipped within days of FDA authorization.
  • The federal government is providing the vaccines free of charge to all people in the United States.
  • Everyone age 12 and older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine. You have three ways to find vaccines near you:
    •  Go to vaccines.gov
    • Text your ZIP code to 438829
    • Call 1-800-232-0233

Messages/tone that resonate with general audiences

  • Use credible, science-based information.
  • Acknowledge that it’s normal for people to have questions about the vaccines and that their questions matter.
  • Remind people that vaccines are another tool in the toolkit to protect themselves and loved ones.