Written by: Sarah Novak | February 16, 2021
Ever since I was a child, I have loved science. I loved learning about how things grew, how chemicals worked together, you name it -- if it was at all science, I was interested. As I grew older, I saw how science can help solve problems, big and small. How with science, we can create apples that do not brown (and therefore my kids will eat them) or treat diseases with antibiotics and now, develop a vaccine that can help us all go “back to normal.”
So it surprised me when I read that 37% of Americans still admit to being weary of getting a vaccine. With the COVID-19 vaccine development moving so quickly, it is easy to understand why some people may have questions and concerns. Now for all of you who love science like me, it is time to share the love of science, but first, we must start with connecting on values.
As I have conversations with those in my community, I talk about how much I want my kids to be safe and go to school and play sports, or how I’d like to go to the local restaurant with friends and family or fly to an exotic vacation location. Most people agree, they want those things too and to feel safe doing it. Then, I start talking about how I’m excited to get the vaccine.
The American Feed Industry Association recently sent resources to our membership about how companies can encourage their teams to get a COVID-19 vaccine. In the past, as leaders in the animal food industry, we never talked about our own medical decisions – that was private and we did not discuss it in public or with colleagues.
Alas, times have changed – now is the time for leaders in our industry to step up and talk about why they are getting a COVID-19 vaccine and help answer questions about the “science” that makes this medical breakthrough possible.
To help understand the science, there are several credible resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and University of California at Davis, that are providing fact-based information. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared several multilingual resources for employers to share with their workforce, such as:
As I’ve been sharing with others….stay positive, the end is in sight and I hope you keep testing negative (for COVID) and let’s all do our part to curb the spread of the virus!