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It was not long ago that people were lining up in facilities across the country and rolling up their sleeves to receive their COVID-19 vaccine shots. But in recent weeks, vaccine demand has significantly dropped in many areas, prompting some of the nation’s mass vaccination sites to close. This has been attributed to a number of things including vaccine hesitancy.
In an effort to insure people have accurate information at their fingertips when deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, Johns Hopkins Medicine has released an infographic called “COVID 19: Vaccine: 12 Things You Need to Know.”
“In a time of the pandemic, getting messages out to the community is important,” said Panagis Galiatsatos, M.D., M.H.S. an assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, and co-chair of the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS) Health Equity in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, & Health Equity.
“From our standpoint, we thought people tend to respond well to numbered facts as opposed to saying, ‘Here is a piece of literature, read it.’ The infographic is easier to digest. We think all of the information is important. But we have to listen to our media group. They are the ones who can tell us the most appealing way to get information out to the community.”
The infographic is a numerically-listed piece of literature with bolded COVID- 19 vaccination-related headings followed by easy-to-read blurbs.
Headings include: “Getting the COVID- 19 vaccine can protect you from getting sick”; “People of color are especially vulnerable to severe COVID-19”; and “Diversity in COVID-19 vaccine testing helped assess safety and effectiveness.” “The best way to beat COVID-19 is to not get it,” said Dr. Galiatsatos. “People need to do everything they can to not get it. With these 12 steps, people will have the tools to not catch it or spread it.”
When asked if he was pleased with the progress being made in the fight against COVID-19 Dr. Galiatsatos said, “Yes and no. There is encouraging news. One year ago, when I was in the ICU for COVID-19, the youngest patient I had was 55. Right now, the oldest is 47. We have done great to protect the older residents— especially nursing home residents. But the young ones are the ones I am really worried about now. Everyone doing their part will end this pandemic.”
Headings on the infographic also includes “More vaccinations for COVID-19 means a chance to return to our regular activities,” information recently echoed by President Joe Biden, in his continued quest to get Americans vaccinated.
“The bottom line is clear…if you are vaccinated, you can do more things more safely both outdoors as well as indoors,” said President Biden. “For those who have not gotten their vaccination yet, especially if you are younger or think you don’t need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated. Now… now. Yes, the vaccines are about saving your life, but also the lives of people around you. But they’re also about us getting back to more normal living. Getting together with friends, going to the park for a picnic without needing to mask-up. We’re back to that place now as long as you get vaccinated. So go get the shot. It’s never been easier.”
On May 10, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include individuals 12 through 15 years of age. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccines are approved for adults 18 and over.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), over 259 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States from December 14, 2020, through May 10, 2021, noting on their website in bold print, “Strong confidence in the vaccines within communities leads to more people getting vaccinated, which leads to fewer COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths.”
Dr. Galiatsatos serves as co-director of Medicine for the Greater Good, which promotes health and wellness beyond Johns Hopkins Hospital through community partnerships.
“We are doing our part,” said Dr. Galiatsatos. “My hope is that these 12 steps will help the community to do their part.”
The information contained in the infographic can be accessed by visiting COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: 12 Things You Need to Know | Johns Hopkins Medicine