COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), Community Colleges, and Technical Schools
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Use this COVID-19 vaccine presentation ppt icon[3.7 MB, 16 pages] (also available in Spanish ppt icon[4 MB, 16 Pages]).
- Familiarize yourself with FAQs and be prepared to answer questions specific to students’ issues.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vaccine champions can use resources from the HHS We Can Do This Community Corps: COVID-19 Community Corpsexternal icon.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Refer to CDC’s Updated Guidance for Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) for more information on strategies to promote and increase access to vaccination.
- Learn more about opportunities for IHEs to partner with the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and their local pharmacy.
- Encourage all vaccinated staff to enroll in the v-safe. After Vaccination Health Checker and share answers to the frequently asked questions about v-safe.
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 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
- SleeveUp Sticker pdf icon[397 KB, 1 page]
- I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine pdf icon[154 KB, 1 Page] (Available in Spanish pdf icon[98 KB, 1 Page])
- Orange stickers pdf icon[95 KB, 1 Page] (Available in Spanish pdf icon[160 KB, 1 Page])
- White stickers pdf icon[236 KB, 1 page] (Available in Spanish pdf icon[159 KB, 1 Page])
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.
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>
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.