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Top Tips for Vaccine Communication

This is an article summarising some top tips for vaccine communication.

Communication strategies are incredibly important when discussing vaccination.

Vaccines can seem threatening, invasive or unnecessary to many people. It is important to acknowledge this when discussing vaccinations. People living in prison in particular may have different preconceptions or beliefs about vaccination which are important to address. Some key concepts when communicating on vaccines are:

  1. Communicate what has been achieved:
    vaccines have prevented millions of deaths across the world. We must carry on vaccinating to continue to do so.
  2. Don’t repeat vaccine myths:
    Repeating myths about vaccines can inadvertently reinforce the misinformation which you want to correct.
  3. Use inclusive terms:
    Using terms such as ‘we, as members of the community’ or ‘wem as people living and working in this prison’ can make people living in prison more receptive to your message.
  4. Underline scientific consensus:
    reminding people that the large majority of scientists advocate for the safety and efficacy of vaccines can further increase confidence in vaccines.
  5. Keep key messages simple:
    do not use acronyms and use plain language to explain your point – this should take less than thirty seconds and be easy to remember.
  6. Tell the truth:
    Dishonesty will lead to distrust. It is always important to be open and transparent about things you don’t know, or things scientific authorities don’t know. For example, it isn’t true to say that vaccines are 100% safe because we know they may cause side-effects; but it is true to say that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh any risks.
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Prison Health: Vaccinations for People Working and Living in Prisons (Non-Vaccine Trained Staff)

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