|6 Things Local Elected Officials Can Do Today to Help Increase Vaccinations
For the month of June – from June 4 to July 4 – the “We Can Do This” campaign is launching a Month of Action to mobilize an all-of-America sprint to get more Americans vaccinated, so that more people can get the protection they need to be safe from a pandemic and get back to the things we love. You – local elected officials are key trusted messengers that know your communities better than most and are a trusted source of information about the vaccines. Take action today and help us continue to spread the word about the importance of getting vaccinated, boost vaccine confidence, and share information on how and where to get vaccinated. This document provides 6 actionable things you can do today to support the Month of Action and compliments other resources such as the Mayors Toolkit.
- Host a Pop-up Vaccination Clinic(s): Host a pop-up vaccination clinic in your community/district where vaccinations remain low. The “On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit” here provides information for employers, localities, and community partners on how to work directly with a national pharmacy to set up vaccination clinics.
- Encourage Local Employer Vaccination Efforts: Work with local employers in your community to ensure they are providing on-site vaccinations, paid time off, and incentives for workers. Research shows that incentives – such as cash rewards, prizes, discounts, or other special offers – make it more likely a person will get vaccinated. Additionally, ensure all city/local government workers in your jurisdiction have access to on-site vaccinations and paid time off to get vaccinated and recover.
- Make Public Transportation to Vaccinations Free: Advance equity and address a key barrier to vaccination by providing free, accessible public transit to vaccination sites during our National Month of Action. More than 350 transit systems across the nation are providing free transportation to vaccination sites—many using funding from the American Rescue Plan. Here you’ll find examples you can employ from hard-hit and high-risk communities across both urban and rural regions. Help ensure free public transportation in your community/district for a day, a weekend, or a week.
- Promote the COVID-19 College Challenge: Help recruit higher education institutions in your community/district to join the COVID College Challenge. If a college – community college, college or university – is already signed up, work with us to amplify and promote vaccination events. Colleges can sign-up up here WhiteHouse.gov/COVIDCollegeChallenge
- Canvass and Go Door-to-Door: Host direct, door-to-door, person-to-person canvassing efforts to sign people up for vaccination appointments, provide vaccine education, and to promote walk-up vaccinations. Talking points, flyers, scripts, and best practices are provided at https://wecandothis.hhs.gov/resources
- Share Resources and Messages that Build Vaccine Confidence: Amplify on your social media channels, record and post a PSA, or do local earned media events to bring attention to the importance of getting vaccinated (see next page for messages that work and FAQs). Emphasize that vaccines are available at no cost to everyone age 12 and older, regardless of immigration or insurance status. The vaccine is free, rides are free, child care is free. Plus, you can get rewards like free sports tickets and discounts at stores.
If you are interested in taking one of these 6 actions or to join the Month of Action, please email us at: COVIDIGA@who.eop.gov.
MESSAGING GUIDANCE: Messages that Work to Help Build Confidence in the Vaccines
- Getting vaccinated gets us back to normal. Getting vaccinated is the best way to defeat this virus and get back to safely gathering with family, friends, weddings, sports, and travel.
- The vaccine is free and available to everyone. Vaccines are available at no cost to everyone age 12 and older living in the United States, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
- If you have questions, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Estimates show that 90% of doctors have gotten a shot themselves.
- More than 170 million Americans have received a vaccine. They are protected from this deadly virus and are on the path back to normal.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine
How can I find a place to get vaccinated?
- Visit Vaccines.gov or vacunas.gov
- Text your ZIP Code to 438-829 to find a vaccine near you. In Spanish, text your ZIP Code to VACUNA (822-862)
- Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline (1-800-232-0233)
For updates and other material resources, visit https://wecandothis.hhs.gov/. Note, many places are now offering walk-in options, so an appointment may not be necessary.
What if I have to miss work?
- Thousands of employers have answered the President’s call to offer paid time off for vaccination.
- The IRS is providing a tax credit to small- and medium-sized employers to help them provide employees paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover if they have any side effects.
- Ask your employer if they offer paid time off.
What if I need a ride or other help to get vaccinated?
- Through July 4th, Uber and Lyft are now offering free rides to and from vaccination sites nationwide – just use the app.
- Over 350 local transit agencies are offering free, accessible public transit to vaccination sites, so check with your local government to see what might be available to you.
- Some companies are offering other resources like free child care while getting vaccinated and free rewards after you get vaccinated. Visit Vaccines.gov – Incentives to learn more.
Contact information for Local Elected Officials: COVIDIGA@who.eop.gov.