There is nothing wrong with having questions about vaccines. And there is certainly nothing wrong with doing a little, or even a lot of research about vaccines.
“We are not against vaccines. Just because we have hesitancies and valid concerns about injecting our baby with specific chemicals and toxins does not mean we are anti anything…
As a soon-to-be-parent [and especially as a first-time-mom] I do feel it my responsibility to have questions, and to listen to my motherly instinct to question things, and do my research.”
Kat Von D
What is Vaccine Hesitancy?
To counter vaccine hesitancy, you likely first need to understand what it means.
“Vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services. Vaccine hesitancy is complex and context specific varying across time, place and vaccines. It includes factors such as complacency, convenience and confidence.”
SAGE Vaccine Hesitancy Working Group
So it means someone who is anti-vaccine, right?
“Although many may characterize all individuals who eschew vaccines as “anti-vaccine” or “vaccine deniers,” in reality there is a broad spectrum of individuals who choose not to have themselves or their children vaccinated.”
Tara C Smith on Vaccine Rejection and Hesitancy: A Review and Call to Action
Many of the folks who are vaccine hesitant aren’t truly anti-vaccine. They are likely being misled by anti-vaccine myths and propaganda, but at least they aren’t the ones spreading it across Facebook or on their own blogs and anti-vaccine websites.
How To Counter Vaccine Hesitancy
How do you counter vaccine hesitancy?
“It’s unfair for anyone to expect me [or any parent] to take the word of the pharmaceutical companies who have much to gain from and industry worth billions without question – and then have to dismiss any concerns of my own.”
Kat Von D
You learn to answer all of the questions and concerns that these parents might have about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, including the risks and benefits of vaccines and the risks of being unvaccinated.
“Well, if you’re going to inform yourself about vaccines, I think anybody who’s truly informed will realize that getting a vaccine is much better than not getting one. If you’re choosing not to vaccinate your child, it’s because you’re getting, frankly, bad information about vaccines.”
Paul Offit, MD
Remember, there is not one anti-vaccine argument or talking point that ever holds water.
What to Know About Countering Vaccine Hesitancy
If you are on the fence or scared to vaccinate your kids, let us help you learn why vaccines are safe and necessary and arguments against vaccines never hold water.
More on Countering Vaccine Hesitancy
- Study – Vaccine Rejection and Hesitancy: A Review and Call to Action
- Talking about Vaccines : Responding to Parents
- CDC – Talking to Parents about Vaccines
- WHO – Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
- Don’t Hesitate: Talking to Your Vaccine-Hesitant Loved Ones with
Compassion and Confidence
- How Providers Address Vaccine Hesitant Parents
- Working with vaccine-hesitant parents
- Dealing with vaccine hesitancy and refusal
- Dr. Paul Offit: “A Choice Not To Get a Vaccine Is Not a Risk-Free Choice”
- How should we deal with vaccine hesitancy, refusal, and antivaccine beliefs
- When parents hesitate about vaccines, what should health-care providers say?
- Talking about Vaccines: Responding to Concerns About Vaccines
- No Compromise on Vaccine Refusal
- Vaccine-Related Journal Articles: Talking with Parents
- Development of a survey to identify vaccine-hesitant parents. The Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines survey
- The C.A.S.E. Approach: Guidance For Talking With Vaccine-Hesitant Parents
- Study – Story and science. How providers and parents can utilize storytelling to combat anti-vaccine misinformation
- Study – A pilot study on the effects of individually tailored education for MMR vaccine-hesitant parents on MMR vaccination intention
- Study – Exploring the Reasons Behind Parental Refusal of Vaccines
- Study – Communicating with parents about vaccination: a framework for health professionals
- Study – Identifying and Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
- How to communicate with vaccine-hesitant parents.