How to talk to your friends and family about getting vaccinated
Clara BensenAug 6 2021
The pandemic has been hard on everyone. In addition to upending our routines, isolating us from each other, and making us fear for our wellbeing, it also introduced a host of new anxieties, including concerns about the efficacy of the vaccine.
However, with the emergence of the highly-contagious Delta variant and case numbers on the rise, getting everyone vaccinated is more critical than ever. Unvaccinated individuals account for nearly all of the COVID-related hospitalizations or deaths in the United States.
Fortunately, COVID-19 vaccines are still an effective way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, or death, including against the Delta variant.
The most important thing you can do to help reach herd immunity and keep your community safe is to talk to your friends and family members who are hesitant about getting vaccinated. In an overwhelming situation like this one, it is easier for people to trust information coming from someone they know (that’s you!).
The most important thing you can do to help reach herd immunity and keep your community safe is to talk to your friends and family members who are hesitant about getting vaccinated.
We know these conversations can be complicated, which is why we outlined tips from the CDC for keeping discussions productive and respectful:
- Understand: Listen to and acknowledge any feelings or concerns without judgment. It can be helpful to ask open-ended questions to better understand specific reservations and avoid dismissing comments.
- Address: Offer to provide information from a trusted source that speaks to your friend or family member’s specific concerns. Healthline has a helpful resource debunking four common myths about the vaccine.
- Motivate: After addressing any concerns about the vaccine, you can begin outlining the benefits of getting vaccinated (such as being able to travel, visit parents, gather in public) that you believe will resonate. Looking for more good reasons to get the shot? We’ve launched a handy perks page outlining benefits for vaccinated people in each state.
- Support: Finally, help make the process of getting vaccinated as seamless as possible. Offer to help with booking an appointment, arranging transportation, or any other logistical hurdles that may keep someone from receiving their shot (we can help!)
Need more help? The New York Times has released a chatbot that will walk you through an empathetic conversation with the vaccine hesitant people in your life.
The Department of Health and Human Services also has helpful resources in various print and digital formats to help you spread the word within your community. Or, check out Made to Save to find an event or volunteering opportunity near you!
Dr. B is proud to support the ongoing vaccination campaigns led by these and other organizations.
Thank you for doing your part to help us beat COVID-19.