CDC has updated its guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. See Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year. Learn more
Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), Community Colleges, and Technical Schools

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), Community Colleges, and Technical Schools
Updated May 24, 2021
students walking on campus together

More people get vaccinated when they have strong confidence in the vaccines within their communities. And more people vaccinated leads to fewer COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. CDC has designed a toolkit to help administrators and staff at institutions of higher education (IHE) share clear, complete, and accurate messages about COVID-19 vaccines. These unified messages can help build confidence among students and staff and encourage COVID-19 vaccination among students.

Promote Vaccination on Your Campus

  • Help students identify their personal reasons for getting vaccinated.
    • Remind students that after they are fully vaccinated, they will be able to resume many activities that they have missed.
    • Build on school spirit and emphasize students’ roles in taking care of their school community.
  • Read CDC’s Updated Guidance for Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) featuring considerations for IHEs that require vaccination and strategies to increase access to and promotion of vaccination.

    Ensure students are aware of school policies and recommendations.

    • Customize the template letter and email a copy to your students to encourage them to get vaccinated (if not requiring vaccination).
    • You can also use the template letter to explain school guidance on COVID-19 vaccination (if requiring vaccination for in-person classes).
    • Provide information on where they can get vaccinated and why it’s important.

Provide Regular Updates

  • Foster transparent, two-way communication about the benefits, safety, side effects and effectiveness of vaccines.
    • Acknowledge that some communities and groups have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infections and have experienced severe outcomes. Remember that some students might have had previous experiences that affect their trust and confidence in the health system.
  • Hold a COVID-19 vaccine town hall or incorporate information about COVID-19 vaccination in regular video addresses to the student population.
  • Educate students via articles, blog posts, social media posts, student-driven publications, and student-driven affinity groups.
    • Tailor information to your students and include graphics and video if you can.
    • Partner with student media organizations and with student influencer programs to cover COVID-19 vaccine topics.
    • Create and publicize a feedback mechanism for students to ask questions about COVID-19 vaccination (email inbox, online chat, phone number, point of contact).
  • Help students find credible vaccine information and get the facts to respond to misinformation.
    • Use these key messages about the COVID-19 vaccine to educate your students and staff.
    • Proactively address and mitigate the spread and harm of misinformation by sharing credible and accurate information.
    • Educate students about misinformation and disinformation and promote health literacy.

Collaborate with Trusted Messengers

  • Galvanize students to promote COVID-19 vaccination on campus and in their communities.
    • Identify leaders in your school or university—students with influence on campus and trust among their peers, such as student government leaders, presidents of campus organizations, and athletic team captains—and encourage them to be vaccine champions.
  • Encourage student-led campaigns. Use strategies identified during discussions with students to make vaccine confidence visible on your campus.
  • Partner with student health centers, health education departments, and student life services to offer students multiple opportunities to connect with various vaccine experts.
    • For example, consider asking students in health career studies who have been educated about vaccination to be peer health educators.
    • Identify and ask health education professionals and healthcare providers from student health centers to be designated COVID-19 vaccination resources for students.

Show Social Support

  • Encourage students to post vaccination selfies on social media and share testimonials about why they got vaccinated. Promote their stories on the school intranet or internet, during a townhall, and on social media.
  • Create short videos for websites and social media to educate staff/students about vaccines, profile staff/students who decide to get vaccinated and their reasons for doing so.
  • Consider hosting competitions between student groups with influence on campus (e.g., athletics programs, fraternity and sorority life, academic organizations, affinity groups, student government) to have a greater proportion of members vaccinated.
  • Some universities have offered incentives to students who get a COVID-19 vaccine, such as entering them into drawings for a chance to win prizes after providing proof of vaccination.

Planning for Vaccination

Coordinate with Your Local Health Department

If you are not already working with your local health department’s immunization program, reach out for assistance. They can help coordinate vaccination clinics, provide speakers for presentations, and offer other types of expertise.

Print and Digital Communication Resources

Providing educational resources to your students will help them understand the importance of vaccinating against COVID-19. These digital and print communication resources may help explain, encourage, and support your students in their decision to get vaccinated. You can print and post them in your buildings and other campus locations.

Printable Stickers

Printable stickers for staff to handout to people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Compatible with full-sheet sticker paper or standard precut 1 2/3” labels.

1 2/3” inch stickers, 24 per page

View all Stickers

examples of printable resources
Posters and Other Print Resources

Navigate to the Print Resources webpage and search by audience you are looking for, or click on the options below:


These infographics explain how different types of COVID-19 vaccines work.
View and Download Infographics


About COVID-19 vaccine (available in several languages)

thumbnail of what to expect after getting COVID-19 vaccine

What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

After getting a #COVID19 vaccine, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19. Call your healthcare provider if redness or tenderness increases after 24 hours, if your side effects are worrying you, or if they do not seem to be going away after a few days.

Date: 12/17/20

Transcript pdf icon[113 KB, 1 Page] I View Low Resolution Video media icon[MP4]

Web Widgets

Copy the code below for this “How do I get a COVID-19 Vaccine?” widget:

<div data-cdc-widget="HDFinderCOVIDVaccination" data-theme="theme1" data-widget-max-height="629px"></div><script src="https://www.cdc.gov/TemplatePackage/contrib/widgets/tp-widget-external-loader.js?ac=20210201"></script>

Copy the code below for this “How do I get a COVID-19 Vaccine?” widget:

<div data-cdc-widget="HDFinderCOVIDVaccination" data-theme="theme2" data-widget-max-height="629px"></div><script src="https://www.cdc.gov/TemplatePackage/contrib/widgets/tp-widget-external-loader.js?ac=20210201"></script>
examples of social media graphics that are ready to post
Social Media Toolkit: COVID-19 Vaccinations

Your school or program can use these messages and images on various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can use them as is with the hashtag #SleeveUp or include your own identity. They can be adapted to fit your school’s or program’s needs. Note that the #COVID19 hashtag is for Twitter and Instagram; use COVID-19 for other social media channels.