1. What are we hoping to do?
- Increase knowledge about COVID-19 vaccinations in the community and respond to concerns and questions of residents
- Understand community norms around COVID-19 vaccinations and promote positive community norms
- Increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations so that residents can easily get vaccinated once they’ve made the decision to do so
|Knowledge/attitudes/beliefs||Have confidence-building conversations with community members and share educational flyers|
|Norms||Develop and share videos of positive local stories on experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations|
|Access||Help community members find vaccination sites and transportation to vaccination appointments|
2. How can I promote vaccine confidence within my organization?
Check out these resources to understand staff-level vaccine confidence and promote vaccine confidence within your organization:
3. What training and educational materials are available for my staff?
Community Health Outreach Training
This material was co-developed with experienced community health workers to help new health outreach/ambassadors learn how to promote vaccine confidence among community members. Click to view the agenda & slides.
HHS Vaccine Confidence Toolkits
These HHS vaccine confidence toolkits (available in English and Spanish) can also support your staff in their vaccine efforts. They include a 14-slide use guide, slides on increasing vaccine, confidence, guidance on answering FAQs, talking points for staff, tips to slow the spread, a how to talk to your community 2-page guide, and a how to prepare for your vaccination section.
4. What are some resources for group outreach activities?
You may decide to incorporate group outreach activities into your vaccine outreach initiatives. Group activities are a great way to reach many people at once to increase vaccine awareness, confidence, and access. There are many options for group outreach activities. Here are some ideas and resources that may be helpful:
- Host an educational webinar on COVID-19 vaccine basics with the CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Basics (PowerPoints available in English and in Spanish)
- Here is a template you can use to send letters or newsletters to community members in your listservs with useful COVID-19 vaccination related information such as local places to get vaccinated and educational information on the vaccines (Word template)
- Host a community forum where community members can ask questions and share stories with each other using the MA DPH Guide to Hosting a Community Forum (PowerPoints available in 12 languages)
- Create videos of positive local stories on COVID-19 vaccinations with community members and share on your organization website, social media, and in newsletters. Here are some example videos for inspiration.
- Connect with local media channels to share positive COVID-19 vaccination stories
- Share up-to-date local vaccination sites and hours through your organization’s website
- Share COVID-19 vaccination graphics and videos via social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram) that are popular in your community
5. How can I have confidence-building conversations with community members?
As a trusted source in your community, you are already well equipped to have confidence-building conversations with community members. The Ariadne Labs Vaccine Confidence Toolkit can be useful as you refine your approach to discussing COVID-19 vaccinations with community members.
This toolkit provides best practices when having COVID-19 vaccination conversations. It includes a step-by-step COVID-19 vaccination conversation guide (e.g., setting up the conversation, listening and learning, sharing and conversing) and suggested language for responding to questions such as “do I really need to get vaccinated?”, “does one work better than the other?”, “Are the vaccines safe if pregnant or breastfeeding?”
Please also see Question 3 – Community Health Outreach Training. This agenda has some scenarios you can practice with another co-worker to become comfortable with speaking to community members.
6. Where can I find answers to COVID-19-related questions that community members are asking me?
Please see our CBO tools & resources page which has flyers/communication materials on various COVID-19 and vaccine topics including boosters, kids vaccination, pregnancy & fertility, Omicron variant.
The Public Health Communications Collaborative Tough Q&A is a regularly updated compilation of tough questions. Topics covered include the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Delta and other variants, children and vaccinations, schools and in-person learning, mask guidance, vaccines, pandemic fatigue, herd immunity, hospital shortages, the economy and jobs, testing, treatment, and many more!
7. How can I help community members find a vaccination site or book an appointment to get vaccinated?
Text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you in the United States.
You can go to the MA Vax Finder to find vaccination sites and availability throughout the state.
8. What resources are available to improve access to COVID-19 vaccination sites?
The MBTA Trip Planner can be used to help residents find public transportation options to vaccination appointments by typing in “from” and “to” addresses as well departing date and time. You can filter route options by subway, commuter rail, bus, and ferry as well as by “best route,” wheelchair accessibility, fewest transfers, and less walking. Fare estimates are also calculated.
Transportation for MassHealth Members and Health Safety Net Patients: MassHealth members and Health Safety Net patients may be able to receive “curb to curb” transportation services to COVID-19 vaccinations appointments. Call the MassHealth Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900 for more information and following the prompts for “transportation to vaccine appointment.” Community member will need their MassHealth ID number, location, date and time of the vaccine appointment, pick-up location and phone number or email address. Once transportation request is approved, contact local transportation broker after one business day to schedule the trip.
The RIDE MBTA paratransit service provides door-to-door, shared-ride transportation to people who have a disability that prevents them from using traditional public transit.
Greater Lynn Senior Services: Clients can call (781) 599-0110 to schedule transportation.
Other resources coming soon!
9. How can I create an action plan for my vaccine outreach initiatives?
Once you have considered the types of activities you may want to include in your vaccine outreach efforts, it’s time to create an action plan! Creating an action plan will help you clarify your goals and identify practical steps to meet these goals. You can use the tool below to draft your Action Plan.
Action Planning Tool
The tool below utilizes the concept of SMART goals. The essence of SMART goals is that they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Start on the left side of the grid by writing down vaccine outreach activities that you would like to implement at your organization. Then fill in the key aim(s) (e.g., improving knowledge/attitudes/beliefs, norms, access) you are hoping to have with each activity. Next, break down the activities into more manageable action steps. Set deadlines for completing each specific action and keep track of your progress (e.g., weekly). It’s okay to adjust the plan as needed.
10. How can I track progress and evaluate my vaccine outreach initiatives?
As the needs of your community and the resources available change over time, it will be important to track the progress of your vaccine navigation activities and adapt outreach and materials used as needed. Two types of outputs can be tracked as you roll out your activities: 1) Feedback from your community members 2) Who are you reaching, how you are reaching them, and any outcomes of your outreach and engagement efforts (e.g., vaccination appointments booked, resources provided).
Check out this CDC Vaccine Confidence Survey Question Bank for the types of questions you may want to ask community members.
Last updated: February 3, 2022
Note: This page is no longer being updated.