I’m going to go ahead and guess that MOST of us here are advocates of vaccination. Advocates fall on a spectrum. We have those who jump on every social post and argue, argue, argue with the skeptics. Then some vaccinate and hope, hope, hope that their friends’ kids at playdates are immunized, too.
The vaccine-hesitant community also falls on a spectrum. Sure, some parents are on the “argue, argue, argue” end of the spectrum, but not all parents with concerns about vaccinations are conspiracists who will never vaccinate. So, let’s remember that.
If you’ve been a follower of my posts, you may know that I’m a huge proponent of gentle nudging. The statistics show that less than 2% of people we like to call “antivaxers” (I hate that word) fall into the “never going to vaccinate” column.
Some reject vaccinating but do have open minds. They might be open to immunizing after receiving the proper information in the right way.
Some are worried about a particular vaccine.
Some are anxious and looking for correct information.
Statistics show that aggressive behavior doesn’t work to help your vaccine-anxious friends feel comfortable with vaccinating. Instead, it pushes them further into their own beliefs.
Make part of your mission listening to concerns before reacting. Follow that up with how you know vaccines work instead of how you believe vaccines work. Then, your friends may be open to seeing the facts as facts instead of doubling down on what they believe to be correct.
As my friend, Dr. Kloock (studies emotional decision-making), puts it: when people start to want to be accurate (accepting facts even if they negate their beliefs) over being correct (searching for things that back up their beliefs), then making the decision to vaccinate will be much easier. Learn to accept facts as facts. Search for accurate information that experts agree on. If you’re having a hard time finding experts that agree with you, then use your curiosity to explore new vantage points.
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