Communicating With a General Audience

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Talking points

Messages/tone that resonate with general audiences

  • Getting vaccinated will mean spending more time with loved ones and engaging with your community.
  • All the COVID-19 vaccines available 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.
  • To get the most protection from the vaccines, you need all the recommended doses for people your age.
  • Vaccinated people 6 months and older should get an updated vaccine when eligible.
  • Get your updated vaccine now if your last dose was before September 2022 (October 2022 for kids 6 months – 11 years).
  • Otherwise, wait until 2 months after you complete your primary vaccination series to get your updated vaccine dose. Completing your primary vaccination series means you got your first 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax vaccine, or your 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
  • If you recently had COVID, you should wait 3 months from when you got sick to get your updated vaccine.
  • Children 6 months – 4 years who got all 3 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech primary vaccination series don’t need an updated vaccine at this time.
  • If you’re 5 or older, you can get either Pfizer-BioNTech’s or Moderna’s updated COVID vaccine; it doesn’t matter which COVID vaccine you got previously—Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.
  • Children 6 months – 4 years who got Moderna’s primary vaccination series can only get Moderna’s updated vaccine.
  • Novavax offers a booster dose of its COVID vaccine, but it doesn’t target Omicron. People 18 and older can get the extra Novavax dose if they’ve completed their primary vaccination series.
  • People with compromised immune systems are less able to fight infections and may need additional vaccine doses.
  • COVID-19 spreads most commonly between people who are in close contact with one another. Vaccines offer you the best protection from COVID.
  • To protect yourself and your loved ones, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth inside public places when the COVID risk to your community is high.
  • If you’re at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID, you can also protect yourself by:
    • Keeping at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you.
    • Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you don’t have soap and water.
  • 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 ages 6 months and older in the United States should 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
  • 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.