Promoting public health by encouraging vaccination
Vaccination against COVID-19 protects us and those around us: colleagues in our practice, family, friends, clients, and our communities. As veterinarians, we understand the power of vaccines and are uniquely qualified to share their importance for preventing and controlling disease in both animals and people. Encouraging vaccination is part of promoting public health, which is an important focus for veterinary medicine.
As part of our commitment to protecting our patients’ health, we encourage clients to prioritize preventive care for their animals. Likewise, it’s important that veterinarians and our health care teams prioritize preventive care for people—including by considering vaccination against COVID-19 ourselves and by encouraging clients to consider it, too.
Tools to get the conversation started
This isn’t always an easy or comfortable conversation—especially with those who may be hesitant. But it is an important one, and one in which veterinarians can make a difference. These resources can make conversations about vaccination easier and help you and your entire veterinary team support vaccination within your community:
- Posters for your lobby and back office
- Social media images to download and use on your social media accounts
- FAQ handout you can give to clients or include in a mailing
- Tips on talking with clients about vaccination against COVID-19
- Ready-to-use audio file for on-hold messaging and copy-and-paste language you can include in newsletters, appointment reminders, and other communications
On-hold messaging: You want what’s best for your animal’s health. Your own health is important too! Please consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It will protect you and help support the health of our entire community. Please continue to hold. We will be with you shortly.
Appointment reminder/newsletter language: You’re committed to your pet’s good health. Your own health is important too! Please consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
As a trusted source of health information and healing, how veterinarians speak with our clients and their families about getting a COVID-19 vaccine can influence their willingness to consider it. We already do so much to protect public health—talking about COVID-19 vaccination and serving as healthy role models in our communities is a logical extension of that role.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit avma.org/COVIDvaccine and vaccines.gov.