COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for School Settings and Childcare Programs

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for School Settings and Childcare Programs

Information for school districts, administrators, teachers, school staff, and other education and childcare professionals

This toolkit is designed to provide COVID-19 vaccine information to staff in schools and childcare programs, who are now eligible for vaccination (visit VaccineFinder.orgexternal icon to find out where vaccine is available). This includes teachers, childcare workers, teaching assistants, paraprofessional educators, office staff, bus drivers, school nurses and counselors, school nutrition staff, coaches and athletic trainers, custodians, and security staff. Educational leaders can use the ideas and materials in this toolkit to communicate with their staff.

social media image - Female Educator

How to Communicate with Staff

Coordinate with Your Local Health Department

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

  • Adapt key messages to the language, tone, and format that will resonate with your school district or childcare program. You know what works best for your staff.
  • Customize the template letter and give or email a copy to your staff to introduce your COVID-19 vaccine educational activities and explain how staff can get vaccinated.
  • Organize a COVID-19 vaccine presentation ppt icon[3.7 MB, 16 pages] (also available in Spanish ppt icon[4 MB]) for your staff or organization and promote it via digital and employee communication channels. Record and send out presentations via email or post on the school intranet/website.
    • If you are able, organize a virtual presentation. If not, organize an in-person presentation following COVID-19 safety precautions. Examples for where you might provide this presentation:
      • School board meetings or organization town halls
      • Teacher workday meetings
      • Regular staff meetings
    • Have conversations with staff about the currently available COIVD-19 vaccines, and use strategies identified during staff discussions to make vaccine confidence visible in your schools and childcare programs.
    • Ask if your local health department or a local clinician group or health educators can provide a speaker if you do not have a health educator or school nurse on staff.
  • Continue to educate your workforce via articles, blog posts, and social media messages. Tailor information for your staff and include graphics if you can.
  • Share regular updates on local community COVID-19 vaccination efforts through in-person or virtual staff meetings, a staff newsletter or email blast, or through regular communications with teacher or staff unions. Create or share social media posts on your social media handles.
  • Have open discussions. Create and publicize a feedback mechanism for staff members to ask questions about COVID-19 vaccination (email inbox, phone number, point of contact).
    • Acknowledge that certain communities and groups have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infections and severe outcomes, and that some staff might have had previous experiences that affect their trust and confidence in the health system.
    • Provide accurate information for staff about the benefits, safety, side effects and vaccine effectiveness.
  • Encourage social support. Invite your staff to wear stickers once they have been vaccinated and post vaccination selfies on social media. Encourage them to use the hashtag #sleeveupforschools, #sleeveupforchildcare or #sleeveupforheadstart and tag your school, district, or program.
  • Learn more about finding credible vaccine information. Get the facts to respond to misinformation you might encounter.
  • Encourage leaders in your districts to be vaccine champions. Share testimonials from fellow staff, administrators, or school nurses about why they got vaccinated. Promote their stories among staff, such as on the intranet or internet, in staff meetings, and on social media.

Planning for Staff Vaccination

  • Visit VaccineFinder.orgexternal icon to find out where to get vaccinated in your community.
  • Pharmacy locations that are part of CDC’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are prioritizing school staff and childcare workers for COVID-19 vaccination during the month of March.
  • Some people may experience post-vaccination side effects that usually last 1 to 2 days, and this may affect their ability to do daily activities. Side effects may include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, or fever. These are normal and are a sign that the vaccine is working.
    • On-site vaccination programs may consider staggering delivery of vaccine so that staff are not all vaccinated at the same time. Staggering considerations may be more important following the second dose of the currently available Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Staggering may cause delays in vaccinating staff, and the decision to stagger vaccination will need to be weighed against potential inconveniences that might reduce vaccine acceptance.
    • Be sure to plan for staff to have time away from work if they develop side effects following COVID-19 vaccination.
Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Use information on these websites to help answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine in your workplace. You can also download the FAQs.

Materials for Communicating with Staff

  • Letters/email templates:
    • Letter from superintendent or childcare association director to school principals/administrators/directors
    • Letter from principals/administrators to school staff (e.g., teachers, assistants, paraprofessional educators, office staff, nurses, school nutrition staff, bus drivers, coaches and athletic trainers, custodians)from superintendent or childcare association director to school principals/administrators/directors
  • Newsletter/drop-in article content
  • Slide deck for presentations ppt icon[4 MB, 16 slides] (also available in Spanish ppt icon[PPT – 4 MB]): These basic slides about COVID-19 vaccines are for informational meetings within your organization. You can use all or part of the set or also add your own school or program’s information.
  • Key messages: Use these key messages about the COVID-19 vaccine to educate your staff.
  • Address myths and promote facts: Proactively address and mitigate the spread and harm of misinformation by sharing credible and accurate information.
  • V-safe: 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.

Digital and Print Communication Resources

For any staff that are physically working on-site, print copies of these resources and use them as handouts or hang them in highly visible places in your offices, buildings, and other employee locations. Such locations could include administrative offices, teacher breakrooms, bus pick-up locations, cafeteria kitchens, supply closets, and other areas frequently visited by educators and staff. Posters are available for specific staff members, such as teachers, school administrators, and janitors. Print different posters for different staff members and place them in the areas most frequented by those staff members.

For any staff working remotely, use the resources on your school intranet or website pages they most frequently visit. You can also use the social media graphics below.

Poster thumbnail
Vaccine Promotion Posters

View and Download Posters (some available in Spanish)

Infographics thumbnail
Infographics

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

Fotonovel thumbnail
Fotonovela

This comic-book style graphic tells the story of a daycare worker’s decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is now available  (also available in Spanish and Haitian Creole)

Stickers

vaccine stickers

If you have scheduled vaccination clinics for your staff, print out these stickers and give them to people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Compatible with full-sheet sticker paper or standard precut 1 2/3” labels.

View and Download COVID-19 Vaccine Stickers (also available in Spanish)

Social Media

These messages and images are for use on various social media channels that your school or program uses, 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 organization’s needs.

Sample social media messages for schools or childcare programs.

Sample social media messages for vaccine champions

  • I want to be here for my students, so I got my COVID-19 shot. Visit https://vaccinefinder.orgexternal icon to find out how to get vaccinated against #COVID19 today. #SleeveUpForSchools
  • I got the #COVID19 vaccine as an example to my biology students. It adds one more layer of protection against COVID-19. Visit https://vaccinefinder.orgexternal icon to find out where you can get vaccinated. #SleeveUpForSchools