With the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine likely imminent, addressing patients’ vaccine questions should be top of mind for healthcare professionals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doses could become available quickly, and clinicians’ role as information providers will be key to building confidence in the immunization process, the agency states in a new webpage. The page provides nine other “need to know” information topics for healthcare professionals regarding COVID-19 vaccines that can be relayed to those in their care.

“Typically, it can take months for a vaccine to become available after it receives FDA authorization or approval, but in the case of a COVID-19 vaccine, it could be a matter of days,” the CDC says.

Advocacy

Encouraging vaccinations starts with a conversation, according to the CDC.

“As you talk with patients, acknowledge the disruption COVID-19 has had on all our lives. This allows you to establish common concerns that can be addressed by vaccination,” it states.

The CDC also provides information on vaccine safeguards, including the federal vaccine safety tracking program currently in place. Using validated methods, the monitoring system can rapidly detect possible problems, the agency adds. “These systems are being scaled up to fully meet the needs of the nation.” 

Unique approval process

There is also an explanation of what it means that the first COVID-19 vaccines will initially be available under federal emergency use authorization — unlike the typical vaccine approval process. 

“It’s understandable that patients will have questions and CDC is developing resources to help you address these concerns,” the agency states.

Members of the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee on Tuesday said that a toolkit for long-term care vaccine education is currently in development. All recipients of future COVID-19 vaccines will receive information fact sheets as well, they said.