As a pediatrician, Dr. Edith Bracho-Sánchez spends many of her days with nervous moms and dads listening to the reasons why they are concerned about their children receiving vaccinations.
“It often comes out as a complete disagreement about how to raise children,” said Bracho-Sánchez.
To handle the complexity of the issue, Dr. Bracho-Sánchez tells families that she would never judge parents or accuse them of loving their children less if they are afraid of vaccines. She just asks you to talk about it.
Getting childhood vaccines can take years, but there are always vaccine-skeptical parents.
Now she is applying those hard-earned experiences to speaking with members of her own family who are hesitant to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
How much do vaccines protect against covid-19?“These are new vaccines and that comes with a reaction and a fear that is very real,” he said. “I think we also have to remember that there is a lot of misinformation.”
Her skills, and those of pediatricians like her, can help you talk to your own loved ones about how to protect yourself against COVID-19.
Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking
More than 100 million Americans have received at least one dose of the covid-19 vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.
And the openness to the vaccine is increasing. 74% of Americans report that they are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they have already received a vaccine, according to a Gallup poll published on March 30. That number has risen from 65% as of December.
However, about 26% of Americans say they would not receive a vaccine at this time.
Getting the country past the threshold for herd immunity means finding ways to persuade at least a portion of the people who are still hesitant to get vaccinated.
Most in rural areas are willing to get vaccinated
Give people space and listen to their concerns
For many, hesitancy in the face of the covid-19 vaccine manifests itself simply as a fear of something new.
“It is a normal human reaction to be afraid. The fear is very real. It doesn’t make you stupid. It’s normal, ”said Bracho-Sánchez. “They are having a normal reaction and may not have been able to sit down and talk to their doctor.”
Find a time to have a calm, rational conversation, where neither person is angry or may start a fight.
“The first thing I’d say is’ I get it. I totally understand where you come from and I understand that you are concerned about this, ‘”said Bracho-Sánchez.
While chatting with a loved one, you should be an active and empathetic listener, she said.
«If you really care about someone and are trying to help them think about something that could be beneficial to their health, if you yell, if you are condescending, if you share too much that they are not willing to listen, you may lose that link and close the door for future conversations, “he said.
As a pediatrician, Bracho-Sánchez has had success nudging parents over the course of multiple conversations.
Cite scientific facts about vaccines
Skepticism toward existing vaccines, such as the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines, has been fueled by concerns of an alleged link to autism, which has been disproved by a significant body of research.
Study after study has shown that vaccines are safe and effective in preventing disease.
And the track record for COVID-19 vaccines has been particularly strong. Adverse reactions are extremely rare and the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna, for example, have shown an ability to prevent disease well in excess of 90%.
“I think it’s important to keep in mind that the more a group of people know about the vaccine, the more likely they are to take it,” said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association.
Last week, Pfizer released six months of data showing that its vaccine is safe and effective. Steps like that could help satisfy those who resist. About 23% of those who oppose receiving the vaccine cite “waiting to confirm that it is safe,” according to Gallup.
“That’s another common question people have, ‘Well, I want to wait a bit and see how it goes. Well, we’ve waited a while and everything still looks great, ”Bailey said. “The bottom line is that the biggest risk is not getting the vaccine and getting sick with covid-19.”
She recommended that people head over to Get Vaccine Answers, a website created by the Ad Council that offers clear explanations of how vaccines work, how they are licensed, and what it feels like to get vaccinated.
And Citizen Free Press has created a resource with helpful, scientifically-based answers to common problems often raised by those who are still unsure about vaccines.
Emphasize the social norm
“There are groups of people who are hesitant to get vaccinated because it is part of their social identity,” said Dr. Richard Pan, a pediatrician and California state senator, co-author of the 2015 legislation to eliminate personal beliefs as a reason for exemptions. of vaccines.
“Before, it was white neo-hippie moms who were interested in wellness and essential oils. That was the stereotype of the mother who doubted vaccines.
There is something different for the doubts regarding the covid-19 vaccine.
Pan, who is a Democrat, cited a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that 29% of Republicans and 28% of white evangelical Christians say they will “definitely not” get the vaccine.
“They are the ones who do not believe that the covid-19 virus is so serious. They say that wearing masks does not help or is for cowards, ”said Pan.
While three out of 10 people object, that still means most have been vaccinated or plan to do so.
“In political terms, that is a landslide triumph. There are more than two thirds, “he said.
One way to bring the remaining white conservatives on board, he added, is to acknowledge that most of them are already doing the right thing. And people often imitate the behavior of others in their social group.
“When they hear that someone decided to get vaccinated, they will consider it because it is part of their social circle,” said Pan. “That becomes the social norm for their immediate social circle.”
Share why you are going to get vaccinated
Sometimes the best approach for Bracho-Sanchez is to get acquainted with new parents during their children’s dates.
His reason was that getting the covid-19 vaccine was simple. She was pregnant. She recounts how she received the injection during her second trimester, even when minimal data on vaccine performance was available.
Believing in the mantra ‘Healthy mom, healthy baby’, she wanted to be protected because she knew that getting COVID-19 was worse.
“It was very well received,” he said. “Moms were saying, ‘Really? You did it?’ And they stopped and thought about it.
There are many positive reasons to share.
“Another strategy is to find out what interests that person and what has been lost since the pandemic started,” Bailey said. «Do you miss being with relatives? Do they miss the events they used to attend? Has that person understood that the fastest way for all of us to get back to those things we miss is for between 70% and 80% of the population to get vaccinated?
The CDC launched another incentive on April 2, updating its travel guidelines to say that those who are fully vaccinated can travel at low risk to themselves.
Some people, who were infected and later affected by prolonged symptoms of Covid-19, have reported that they feel better after their vaccinations.
Stories like that could be a light at the end of the tunnel for those who have struggled with covid-19 disease.
Help them make the appointment
And finally, questions about vaccinations could simply be a matter of not being sure how to schedule the appointment and get to the vaccination site.
“Help them to program themselves,” said Bracho-Sánchez. “Especially people who are scared will say ‘Okay, yeah, I think I’m going to do it.’ And then they don’t. Sometimes it’s just because logistics is a small hurdle. ”
Go to the website of your local public health department together. Offer to drive them to the clinic to make it a little easier.
“If you care about someone, you must help him,” he said. Say, ‘Let’s do this together. Let’s do something, so if you get vaccinated, let’s have dinner later. Let’s celebrate together’. Just something extra like that to show you care.
Vineet Gupta is a highly acknowledged reporter from India, his super fast and accurate journalism has received praise from People in India and around the Asia. Vineet is currently working with Globe Live Media as a freelance journalist and will provide all the major news from India to the platform.