Over the past academic year, the JHNeedsU campaign has informed the university community on best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including handwashing, physical distancing, and mask wearing. Now, with access to vaccines rapidly expanding, Johns Hopkins is launching a follow-up campaign to provide information about vaccine safety and eligibility.
The Get the Facts About the Vax campaign aims to deliver visual, easily digestible, and trustworthy information on the COVID-19 vaccines to affiliates of Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The campaign materials will also be publicly accessible, providing accurate, research-driven information that will help people make an informed decision about getting vaccinated.
"We realize that people have many of the same questions," says Susan Krenn, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, which developed the campaign. "It doesn't matter if I'm a teacher or a facility worker or a postdoc—we want to learn more about the vaccines and how to get them."
Among the questions that come up time and again, Krenn says, are concerns about how quickly the vaccines were developed, about mRNA vaccine technology, about the safety of the vaccines for patients with underlying conditions, and about fertility, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Other common questions center around if and when children will be eligible for the vaccines and whether people who choose to be vaccinated will need a booster shot in the future.
This Friday, April 9, at 10:30 a.m. EDT, the campaign will feature a virtual question and answer session to address these and other questions. The primary speaker will be Mustapha Saheed, medical director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The session will be moderated by Lainie Rutkow, a professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and a senior adviser to JHU President Ron Daniels.
In the coming weeks, more campaign materials will become available, including infographics, fact sheets, flyers, testimonials, videos, and recordings of livestreamed events. Later this month, the campaign will launch a website with these and other resources as well as the latest updates on the vaccines.
The hope, Krenn says, is not only to get Johns Hopkins affiliates and community members to utilize the Get the Facts About the Vax resources, but to have them share the information with co-workers, friends, and family members.
"We all have parents; we all have children, brothers, sisters," Krenn says. "There's a lot of information that's going around. Some of it's true, and some of it's not. There's still uncertainty among many about the vaccine, but the fact is that the vaccines are an incredibly important and effective tool in this fight against COVID-19. Hopkins is world-renowned in this area, and we owe it to our own community to ensure that they have access to information in a way that's easy for them to digest and share."