COVID-19 Updates

Social workers, like many health and behavioral health professionals, are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on their well-being, the people to whom they provide services, their families, and others in the community.

The NASW-Illinois Chapter has been working on multiple fronts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure access to services such as teletherapy. Social workers are in a unique position to promote disease prevention efforts (including disseminating accurate information from trusted sources), and to help address anxiety and other concerns that are arising as a result of this public health crisis.

Below are resources to support social workers in this role. As the situation continues to rapidly evolve, the NASW-Illinois will continue to monitor developments and work to protect social workers and the clients we serve.

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Every day many more people are becoming partially or fully vaccinated, but there are many others who have not been vaccinated, despite the demonstrated safety of the vaccines and their high degree of effectiveness in preventing severe illness and death. Social workers, as professionals who provide services in a wide range of community settings, and who are trusted messengers, are in a unique position to promote COVID-19 vaccine confidence, access, and uptake — particularly among populations with low vaccination rates and higher vulnerability to severe forms of infection.

NASW and the NASW Foundation are partnering with the Health Behavior Research and Training Institute (HBRT) at The University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded (CDC) initiative to support social workers and their clients in informed vaccine decision-making. 

>> Learn more about this initiative.

MYTHS AND FACTS

Every day, many more people are becoming partially or fully vaccinated. But there are many others who have not yet gotten vaccinated, despite the demonstrated safety of the vaccines and their high degree of effectiveness in preventing severe illness and death.

As part of the NASW 2021 Virtual Forum: Reimagining Social Work In Health, a free webinar COVID-19 Vaccination through a Social Work Lens: Myths and Facts was held Nov. 9, 2021.

The webinar is now available on demand, free of charge and includes free CEs at the Social Work Online CE Institute. Learn more about the vaccines, including myths and facts, and special considerations for social workers. Summary excerpts from the webinar and webinar presentations are included below.

COVID-19 Facts

  • Anyone can contract COVID-19. We don’t know how COVID-19 will affect each person.

  • Certain populations are at greater risk of severe illness and/or death. Among others, these include:

    • Adults 65+

    • People with underlying medical conditions

    • People with mental health disorders and/or substance use disorders

    • People who are unhoused

    • People who are African American, Hispanic or Indigenous

    • LGBTQ people

    • Socially and/or economically vulnerable people

  • Some people develop long-term COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., Long Haul COVID), which can result in prolonged disruptions in health and even long-term disability.

  • COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and/or death.

  • Vaccinated people are eight (8) times less likely to be infected and 25 times less likely to experience hospitalization or death.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Serious side effects that could cause long-term health problems are extremely unlikely following any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support approval or authorization of a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and vaccine safety experts quickly assess unexpected adverse events to guide vaccine recommendations.

SPECIAL POPULATIONS

According to research conducted by Civis Analytics, approximately 46 percent of Illinoisans are part of “the moveable middle”, i.e., residents who want to protect their health but are hesitant about getting vaccines, a disproportionate number of whom are 18 to 34-year-olds, women, lower-income individuals and Black adults. 

TRAINING

Vaccine Confidence Training for Social Workers

A centerpiece of the Connect to End COVID-19 initiative is providing accurate information to social workers about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines, including vaccine safety and effectiveness, barriers to vaccination (e.g., mis/disinformation, logistical challenges, psychosocial and social care considerations, etc.), and the role of social workers in supporting clients in informed decision making regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Key to the initiative are national, interactive trainings on the use of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and other evidence-based, culturally competent, public health and social work informed frameworks for helping clients process decisions regarding their health. A primary focus is on populations with low vaccination rates and greater vulnerability to severe forms of infection.

What’s Next in the Pandemic, Through a Social Work Lens

At this webinar, hear from social work and infectious disease experts about the evolving COVID-19 landscape, what’s on the horizon, and how social workers can continue to play a role in vaccine uptake, especially among special populations. This is the third in a three-part series offered through the Connect to End COVID-19 initiative in which NASW is partnering with the University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work.

 

Speakers:

  • Mona K. Gahunia, D.O., Associate Medical Director, Infectious Diseases/Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente

  • Anna Mangum, MSW, MPH, Deputy Director of Programs, National Association of Social Workers

  • Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Social Workers

 

Webinar materials include:

 

Register for complimentary self-study webinar, "What's Next in the Pandemic Through a Social Work Lens"

COVID-19 Vaccines Through a Social Work Lens: Supporting Informed Client Vaccine Decision Making Through Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

At this interactive event, participants learned how to apply MI and SBIRT frameworks in supporting clients in their decision making around the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. The complimentary webinar and CEUs are available for self-study.

This webinar is the second in a series of three webinars that are part of NASW’s Connect to End COVID-19 initiative, undertaken in partnership with The University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The third webinar in the series, “Supporting Special Populations in Vaccine Decision Making,” will be conducted February 24, 2022.

 

Speakers:

  • Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW – CEO, National Association of Social Workers

  • Anna Mangum, MSW, MPH – Deputy Director of Programs, National Association of Social Workers

  • Leslie Sirrianni, LCSW-S – Senior Research Program and Training Coordinator, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin

  • Stéphanie Wahab, PhD, MSW – Professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University

 

Webinar materials include:

 

Register for complimentary self-study webinar "Supporting Informed Client Vaccine Decision Making"

COVID-19 Vaccination Through the Social Work Lens: Myths and Facts

As part of the NASW 2021 Virtual Forum: Reimagining Social Work In Health, a complimentary webinar, COVID-19 Vaccination through a Social Work Lens: Myths and Facts, was offered. The complimentary webinar and CEUs are available for self-study.

Millions of people are becoming partially or fully vaccinated each day. However, there are many others who have not gotten vaccinated, despite the demonstrated safety of the vaccines and their high degree of effectiveness in preventing severe illness and death. At this webinar, learn more about the vaccines, including myths and facts, and special considerations for social workers.

Webinar materials include:

 

Register for complimentary self-study webinar “Covid-19 Vaccination through a Social Work Lens: Myths and Facts”

OTHER RESOURCES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a wide array of information and resources that are beneficial to social workers who are working to enhance COVID-19 vaccine confidence and support clients in informed vaccine decision-making.

Vaccine Confidence

 

Addressing Misinformation/Disinformation

Health Care Providers

 

Communications

 

Special Populations

 

Health Equity

MYTHS AND FACTS
MYTHS AND FACTS

Child getting vaccination

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SPECIAL POPULATIONS
SPECIAL POPULATIONS

Two people of color with masks touching elbows

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TRAININGS
TRAININGS

Individual watching an online training

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OTHER RESOURCES
OTHER RESOURCES

Vial of COVID-19 vaccine

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