UW Health shares tips on how to talk to family and friends about COVID-19 vaccines
MADISON, Wisconsin – COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be one of the safest and easiest ways to protect themselves from the disease, but many people are still not sure if they get the vaccine.
Experts at UW Health say a conversation with a close friend or relative can help allay concerns.
According to a January Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 36% of those who took the poll and said they were hesitant to get the shot did so after speaking with someone who convinced them. The largest number, 17%, were convinced by a conversation with a family member. About 5% did so after a friend convinced them.
Victoria Egizio, behavioral health manager at UW Health, said that while these types of conversations can help, they are often difficult.
“A calm and gentle approach without pressure is more likely to be successful in the long term,” said Egizio.
Egizio said there are some simple things people can do before they start a conversation about immunization:
- Prepare talking points to have a plan
- Describe how much you value and care about the other person and their safety
- Be clear, the conversation is about concern for their health
- Be open, curious and non-judgmental
- Be prepared to hear why they are reluctant to get the vaccine
According to Egizio, these types of conversations should be seen as an opportunity to get along rather than changing your mind immediately. It may take several conversations to convince someone.
More information on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, as well as resources on how to prepare for these types of conversations are available through the CDC, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and UW Health.
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