Tips for Talking to Someone Who is Vaccine Hesitant
COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available in the U.S., and more people are eligible to receive one than ever. Worldwide, more than 1.1 billion doses have been administered – and not one person who has been vaccinated has died of COVID.
There are some individuals who are reluctant to be vaccinated. The decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal one. You likely know someone who is hesitant to receive a vaccine and may be unsure of how to talk to them about it.
Starting a conversation may seem daunting, but it’s important to open a line of communication with your loved ones on the topic. Here are some tips as you consider how to broach the subject:
- Remind them that you care about them: Establish that you love them no matter what – and that getting a vaccine is their decision to make. Keep the conversation respectful and avoid passing judgement. Show empathy and compassion for their feelings.
- Find out their concerns: Bring verified facts to the conversation and encourage your loved ones to seek out official sources of information. All the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration underwent the rigorous safety testing and review that other vaccines go through and were developed on 50 years of research on coronaviruses. The side effects are minimal compared to the risk of severe infection and death should you contract COVID-19.
- Emphasize the benefits: Vaccinated individuals don’t have to wear a mask or social distance – unless required to by a regulation from a governmental body or business. Additionally, the COVID vaccines provide immunity against multiple variant strains of the virus – which are ever-changing.
Above all, vaccination is a deeply personal decision. Be understanding of their point of view.
We are all yearning to return to our pre-pandemic lives. The vaccines are working, as the number of new COVID cases reported each day in the U.S. has dropped significantly.
Regardless of what side of the conversation you’re on, it’s important we all remember to do our best to understand one other’s perspectives, consider all the facts and do our best to make the most informed decisions for ourselves and others.
Photo credit: Getty Images