Customizable Content for School Administrators to Communicate with Students
School administrators can use the following materials to encourage COVID-19 vaccination. Customize the text to make it appropriate for your campus. Tailor the bolded text in brackets to your circumstances.
Dear [University/School] community,
Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects. Although we have stayed connected and endured these challenges together, COVID-19 has greatly disrupted the usual way of teaching for our staff and learning for our students. It has forced us all to adapt in ways we probably never anticipated.
Throughout the last year, we have implemented numerous measures to ensure the health and safety of [University/school] students and to continue our academic progress. [Include local mitigation measures enacted: We have masked up, transitioned many classes to virtual, and performed [x] COVID-19 tests each week to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our campus and in our community.] Despite these uncertain and stressful conditions, you have persevered.
As we close out the spring semester, we are looking forward to a more normal semester next fall. Despite many unknowns, we look forward to the day that we can return to in-person learning, social activities and celebrations, and the vibrant and bustling [University/school] life we hold dear. However, we can’t achieve that vision without you.
[If not requiring vaccination: I am writing to encourage all [University/school] students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If requiring vaccination: This year, [School/university] will require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall 2021 semester.] Getting vaccinated offers an added layer of protection against COVID-19 that could also protect your family, friends, and community. All COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are safe and effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Stopping this pandemic requires using all the tools we have available.
Your health and safety continue to be our priority. [If you have scheduled vaccination clinics: To ensure convenient access to vaccination, we will have vaccines available to our students at [insert information about where to get vaccinated]. If you don’t have vaccination clinics: Many retail pharmacy locations and mass vaccination sites are near campus. Visit vaccines.gov to find a location convenient to you. Include any other details about where students can be vaccinated and any other measures to support access.] If you have questions about how to get vaccinated, please contact [insert name and contact information for your school’s point of contact]. If you want to know more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines.
We have stood together this year, and we need to stand together again, as a [school/university] community, to help stop this virus. COVID-19 vaccination is a safe and effective means to help us do that. It takes all of us. Please take care of yourself this summer, and I will continue to update you as plans are finalized closer to the fall semester.
[INSERT SIGNATURE OF University/School administrator or leadership]
Top 5 Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccination
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important things we can do together to stop this pandemic. It can help protect you, your friends, your family, and your community. Here are the top 5 things you should know about COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in US history. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.
Results from vaccine safety monitoring efforts are reassuring. Some people have no side effects. Others have reported common side effects after COVID-19 vaccination like pain, redness, or swelling at injection site. You may also have tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever or nausea. These reactions are common. Serious safety problems are rare.
COVID-19 vaccines work.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19. It may also help protect people around you, like your friends, your family, our school, and our community.
You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal.
You may have some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, such as pain, redness or swelling at the injection site. You may also have tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they typically go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects.
Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain you may have after getting vaccinated. It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
It takes 2 weeks after vaccination for you to be considered “fully vaccinated,” meaning your body has built protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.
After you are fully vaccinated, you can start to do some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccines are the key to getting back to normal. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. More details about what you can do can be found on CDC’s webpage.
Although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning many things:
- How effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
- How well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications.
- How long COVID-19 vaccines protect people.
If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccination, ask at [include school email inbox, online chat, phone number, or point of contact]. If you want to know more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines.
We all want the pandemic to be over. We want you to feel safe in our [University/School] and in your community. We all play a part in this effort, and you are key. Please sign up to get your COVID-19 vaccination at [INSERT INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE TO GET VACCINATED].
School administrators can use the following FAQs to answer questions specific to students’ issues and encourage COVID-19 vaccination.
Below are links to CDC resources, including answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination and information for busting common vaccine myths. Information such as whether students who’ve had COVID-19 need to get vaccinated, whether CDC recommends one vaccine over another, and when a student is considered fully vaccinated can be found on FAQ link.
Yes. State residency requirements for the federal retail pharmacy program have been eliminated. Students can receive vaccines from any pharmacy regardless of their permanent address.
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine mandates and exemptions. The CDC card issued upon receiving the first COVID-19 shot is the easiest way to show proof of vaccination. The healthcare provider who administered the vaccine most likely also has a record of vaccination.
Some state, tribal, or territorial laws require a parent or legal guardian to accompany an eligible minor to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, while others may only require proof of parent/guardian consent (without a requirement that parents are present) prior to vaccination. CDC requires COVID-19 vaccine providers to follow these local laws. Learn more about the vaccination of minors.
Some students may have received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not currently authorized in the United States. Students should follow CDC’s recommendations for “People vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines not authorized in the United States” at CDC’s clinical considerations webpage.
Students should follow CDC’s international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people and be vaccinated as soon as possible after arrival in the United States. The latest recommendations are accessible online at: International Travel During COVID-19.
Documentation of COVID-19 vaccination status varies by country. International students should provide the proof of vaccination documentation that they received upon receiving COVID-19 vaccine.
- FAQs for Students – Responding to COVID-19 – Carleton Collegeexternal icon
- Vaccine FAQ – COVID-19 Prevention & Response – Reed Collegeexternal icon
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information: University of Dayton, Ohio (udayton.edu)external icon
- COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ | Mississippi State University (msstate.edu)external icon
- COVID-19 Vaccine | Emory University | Atlanta GAexternal icon
- COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ for International Students and Scholars | Yale Healthexternal icon