Breast exams are extremely useful in detecting cancer early. Clinical exams, breast self-exams (BSEs), and mammograms should be completed regularly so that it is possible to determine if there are changes in breast tissue, indicating breast cancer or other potentially harmful conditions.Continue reading
Your mental health plays a large role in your overall well-being. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have reported a decline in their mental health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 45% of U.S. adults have reported distress during these times.Continue reading
All adults in the United States are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. With vaccine distribution reaching the general public, a growing proportion of students are now vaccinated. In turn, those vaccinated students should have received a vaccine card.
It’s worthwhile for schools to understand what COVID-19 vaccine cards are and what uses they may have. This article provides an overview of COVID-19 vaccine cards and considerations for supporting students that have COVID-19 vaccine cards.Continue reading
Colleges and universities play a critical role in helping promote and provide accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. Students getting vaccinated can be a driving force for a safe return to campus.
As schools navigate the legal risks and logistics of return-to-campus plans and student vaccinations, this article explores considerations for increasing student vaccine acceptance.
Building Student Confidence
It is not unusual for colleges to require certain vaccinations. This was true even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many schools will require students to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when they return in the Fall. Those that are not requiring it are strongly encouraging students to receive the vaccine. Some students may be hesitant to get the vaccine or feel that they do not need it since they are young and healthy. Education and communication are critical for increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.
Here are some steps for increasing student confidence in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Communicate proactively, compassionately, and transparently to help build student buy-in and support of vaccination plans or general vaccination. Communications that lead with values, like unity or interconnectedness, are also effective because they can motivate students to act.
- Educate students about COVID-19 vaccines—including development, efficacy, benefits, side effects, access, and coverage—and how they can talk to others about vaccines. Stick to the facts and avoid using jargon and strong language. To be most impactful, schools could leverage multiple organizational channels to reinforce vaccine messaging.
- Listen to students’ concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. Two-way communication is especially important if some students are still studying working remotely.
- Offer flexibility for students with signs and symptoms after vaccination, such as the opportunity to retake tests and assignments, if they are missed due to post-COVID vaccine symptoms.
- Invite students to make their decisions to get vaccinated visible and celebrate them. Reinforce that students getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can accelerate the return of larger campus gatherings and study abroad opportunities.
- Encourage students to be vaccine champions. Going one step further, schools could appoint, and train interested students to become vaccination ambassadors who share their personal stories and address any student concerns.
- Discuss COVID-19 vaccines in school settings where students can ask questions and engage in respectful and open dialogues.
- Ask faculty and staff who are respected in the student community to help build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine acceptance will not happen overnight, so allow time for that confidence to build. Students who are hesitant at first may become more assured after their peers, family, and friends get vaccinated. Remember that schools continue to play a big role in helping students navigate the pandemic.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available nationwide to everyone 16 years of age and older, it is time for colleges and universities to prepare to put plans into action. For some institutions, these plans may include a vaccination program.Continue reading
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