Talking with Employees about COVID-19 VaccinesClick here for printable version
Updated: November 22, 2021
This guide is intended to help managers in your organization have productive conversations with employees and workers about COVID-19 vaccines. Areas highlighted in yellow require company-specific information.
The health and safety of our employees, workers and customers is our top priority. Now that COVID-19 vaccines are widely available to everyone in America ages 5 and older, we want our employees to have trusted information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other public health sources to help them make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
That’s why our company is participating in the Health Action Alliance, a national network of businesses and health experts that helps employers strengthen their response to COVID-19, support workers and create safer workplaces.
We strongly encourage managers to discuss COVID-19 vaccines during an upcoming team meeting, and guide a group conversation using the information below.
NOTE: If you hear rumors or misinformation we should address, or receive questions you can’t answer, you should contact [Name/Title/ Contact Info] for support.
Listen more than you talk. This is a conversation, not a debate. It’s not your job to convince people to get vaccinated. Rather, you’re sharing information to help them make their decision. Be positive, inviting and respectful. Acknowledge “the choice is yours to make with your doctor or healthcare provider.”
Lead with empathy. Respect people’s concerns and acknowledge that it’s ok for everyone—even you—to have questions about vaccines. Don’t talk down to people, lecture or make people feel guilty. Instead, be understanding, positive and hopeful. Listen for what’s holding people back then help them find their own reason to get vaccinated.
Facts about safety matter. Don’t just say “the science is solid.” Provide facts about the safety and efficacy of vaccines using the talking points provided below. Remember, you shouldn’t give medical advice, so encourage people with more advanced questions to talk with their doctor or healthcare provider. Finally, be sure to speak plainly and in a manner everyone will understand.
Note: Add here details about your company’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, including any paid time off or other incentives you’re offering to employees and workers who get vaccinated. Below are best pratice examples:
Public health guidance on COVID-19 is constantly evolving. Health Action Alliance is committed to regularly updating our materials once we've engaged public health, business and communications experts about the implications of new guidance from the public health community and effective business strategies that align with public health goals.