In April 2021, HHS launched its “We Can Do This” initiative to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and connect people with the medical information that they need.
In continuing to make the public aware of safety precautions and other important information, The Atlanta Inquirer partners and collaborates with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to share a common mission of helping prevent COVID, protecting public health and the beloved community.
The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) COVID-19 public education campaign is a national initiative to increase public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.
Through a nationwide network of trusted messengers and consistent, fact-based public health messaging, the campaign helps the public make informed decisions about their health and COVID-19, including steps to protect themselves and their communities.
The effort is driven by communication science and provides tailored information for at-risk groups. The Campaign supports efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others across HHS to use education to improve public health.
Communication products and initiatives are designed to help those in the Movable Middle—people who want to protect their health but have questions about vaccines—become more willing to consider vaccination and boosters. Some Campaign products and initiatives help parents who are seeking information about vaccines and boosters for their children. The We Can Do This Campaign aims to connect with Americans from all backgrounds. While the Campaign aims to build confidence in vaccines and boosters, it also reinforces basic messages about prevention and treatment of COVID.
Strategy and Goals
This effort focuses on Americans who want to protect their health, but may have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. It aims to:
- Explain how Americans can protect themselves from COVID-19
- Strengthen public confidence in the vaccines so those who are hesitant will be more willing to consider vaccination
- Increase vaccine uptake by informing Americans about how and where to get vaccinated
Public Education Activities
The HHS public education activities are organized around three themes:
- Slow the Spread: Basic prevention measures that should be taken while waiting for the vaccine
- Building Vaccine Confidence: Information and resources to build confidence about the COVID vaccines so people are ready to get vaccinated or boosted when it is time
- Protecting the Nation: Fact based, scientific information about vaccine development, safety, and effectiveness
The COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States meet the FDA’s rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness. Tens of millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and all COVID vaccines will continue to be monitored for safety.
Serious health effects from vaccines are very rare. It’s highly unlikely that COVID-19 vaccines will cause long-term health problems. Also, there is no evidence at all that they will cause infertility or cancer.
Your risk for serious health problems is much lower from the vaccine than your risk if you’re unvaccinated and get COVID-19. COVID-19 can leave you with heart and lung damage and other conditions that require long-term treatment. Vaccines are much safer paths to immunity than the disease itself.
The available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19.
To get the most protection from the vaccines, you need all the recommended doses for people your age.
If you’re 12 or older and vaccinated, you should get an updated vaccine to help protect against Omicron.
It doesn’t matter which COVID vaccine you got for your primary vaccination series (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) or how many boosters you’ve already gotten; get your updated vaccine 2 months after your last dose.
If you recently had COVID, you should wait 3 months from when you got sick to get your updated vaccine.
The FDA carefully reviewed the vaccines for safety and authorized them because the expected benefits outweigh potential risks.
The FDA has fully approved the following vaccines after thoroughly evaluating additional data on their safety and effectiveness and inspecting where and how they’re made:
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for people ages 16 and older.
- The Moderna COVID vaccine for people ages 18 and older.
The vaccines are just one of the tools we have to fight the virus. They work with your immune system so it’ll be ready to fight the virus if you’re exposed.
To maximize protection from highly contagious variants and prevent possibly spreading COVID to others, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear a well-fitting mask inside public places when the COVID risk to your community is high.
If you’re at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID, you can also protect yourself by:
- Keeping at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you.
- Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you don’t have soap and water.
Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, especially people at increased risk for severe COVID-19.
If you do get COVID-19, there can be long-term health issues after recovery. We still don’t know if you can get COVID-19 again or how long you might be protected from reinfection.
Everyone ages 6 months and older in the United States should get a COVID-19 vaccine.
You have three ways to find vaccines near you:
- Go to vaccines.gov/
- Text your ZIP code to 438829
- Call 1-800-232-0233
We’re here to support you emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and those you know who are alone or isolating to prevent getting the virus.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, the preventive measures, or the vaccines, please let us know, and we can ensure you have the most recent fact and science-based information. Go to cdc.gov/coronavirus or your local public health department’s website.
Last updated on September 29, 2022