Stephen Flynn and Carmen Sceppa in News@Northeastern: Free Online COVID-19 Vaccine Course Fills the Gap in Public Health Messaging
According to recent polling, less than half of Americans say they will definitely receive a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to the general population. Fifteen percent of Americans say they will refuse to be vaccinated and over one-third of the population is unsure if they should get inoculated.
“It is critically important to reach the people who are on the fence about the vaccine,” says Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern, who co-led this initiative to launch the public health course, COVID-19: Vaccines 101. “If the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t get vaccinated, we cannot achieve a safe enough level of immunity to bring the pandemic under control.”
The FDA’s recent Emergency Use Authorizations of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines makes the need to effectively communicate the facts about vaccines to the public an urgent public health imperative. This free publicly available online educational resource provides expert information using Northeastern’s best-in-class digital learning tools.
Drawing on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the latest science about vaccines, leading researchers in Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences distilled this information into easy to understand modules in a self-paced format that takes about 30 minutes to complete.