President Joe Biden committed to getting at least 70% of U.S. adults their first dose of the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine and achieve 160 million fully vaccinated American adults by July 4, 2021. However, one in five Americans reported that they aren’t planning to get vaccinated. To dispel public fear and increase understanding, several U.S. health agencies provided multiple resources to educate patients and providers on vaccine distribution and efficacy.
“If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon, our economy will be on the mend, our kids will be back in school, and we’ll have proven once again that this country can do anything,” Biden said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) frequently updates its resource guides for providers, remaining transparent in disseminating the latest evidence on the disease and its variants. CDC offers a toolkit to help clinicians effectively promote vaccination to fellow staff, information for pediatric providers, and vaccine administration protocols, among other resources.
The Health Resources and Services Administration organized the COVID-19 Uninsured Program, which provides claims reimbursement to healthcare providers for testing, treating, and vaccinating uninsured patients. The program also includes fact sheets to educate patients and providers about the financial aspects of vaccines.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a plethora of resources through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) COVID-19 Partner Resources page and the HHS COVID-19 Public Education Campaign. CMS also has patient education on how Medicare covers the vaccine and consolidated information about various COVID-19 vaccine policies and guidance. The agency’s site tailored toward providers has answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding insurance and COVID-19, including a set of COVID-19 FAQs with specific information for providers who bill Medicare for administering vaccines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) produced a series of videos to educate patients on all aspects of the virus, from how scientists develop a vaccine to an introduction into COVID-19 testing and treatment options. FDA also has a #VaccineReady social media toolkit that providers can use to encourage vaccination and frequently updates its COVID-19 vaccine resource page, which is available in English and Spanish.
Since the beginning, ONS has kept oncology nurses up to date with a COVID-19 resource page, including related advocacy and policy efforts, data registries, podcasts, and a nursing self-care learning library. ONS Voice also has a COVID-19 topic tag with coverage on all aspects of the pandemic.
Vaccination is the golden ticket back to normalcy, and the Biden administration has allocated billions in funding to strengthen public perception of it. One of the factors cited for Americans’ hesitancy is mistrust in the vaccine, but the public—and policymakers—place immense trust in nurses. By coming together to disseminate the truth, nurses can leverage their position to support science and mitigate fear.