In collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health Solutions, IVAC faculty have just launched a free online course, “COVID Vaccine Ambassador Training: How to Talk to Parents.”
Designed for parents, teachers, and school staff, this online course aims to provide “vaccine ambassadors” with the tools to discuss concerns about COVID-19 vaccines with people in their communities. The self-paced course teaches adults how to have respectful and empathetic conversations with parents and guardians who remain hesitant about vaccination for their children, even if they are vaccinated themselves.
The goal of the course is to empower more people to communicate with parents in the U.S. who have concerns about vaccinating their children, despite the availability of safe, effective, and free COVID-19 vaccines for children ages five and up. In recent weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations in children have spiked to record levels, including among unvaccinated children ages 5 and up who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 672 children age 17 and under were admitted to hospitals every day with COVID-19 during the week ending Sunday, January 2—the highest such number of the pandemic. These numbers underscore the urgency to get eligible children across the country vaccinated and boosted now.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador course covers evidence-based communication strategies, with video explainers and FAQs about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines, as well as lessons on how to engage in constructive conversations about vaccine hesitancy. The course also includes reliable sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines, an important tool in discussions around vaccines.