Try to set aside disparaging attitudes and preconceived notions about why somebody might delay getting vaccinated, Galligher said. Many people have valid fears, so you should seek to understand and kindly address their concerns, she said.
And if the person you’re speaking with brings up a concern that is false, possibly stemming from misinformation (like the vaccine contains a microchip or causes infertility), address it head on but without shaming them.
“Say, ‘I heard something like that, too, but then I looked more into it and here’s what I found out about it,’ and maybe offer to forward that information on with the references,” Galligher said. “And there’s a way to do it without implying that the other person is bad or wrong for thinking something else.”
Tell your story
Galligher and other experts also recommend sharing your reasons for getting the vaccine and being honest about your experience. It’s their decision to make, with their doctor.
“We ask that our local community leaders share their stories as to why they are vaccinated, and that vaccination will help lessen the severity of COVID-19 disease,” said Dan Suffoletto, spokesman for Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County.
Most Ohioans are vaccinated, Suffoletto said, and if those people share with their relatives, friends and acquaintances why they got the shot, that can be powerful.
“The vaccine skeptics and the misinformation network have been doing this sort of personal communication on social media and elsewhere all along,” he said. “If the larger number of vaccinated individuals let people know why they got vaccinated, it can increase the number of individuals getting COVID vaccines.”
ABOUT THE PATH FORWARD
Our team of investigative reporters digs into what you identified as pressing issues facing our community. The Path Forward project seeks solutions to these problems by asking how the community can overcome the COVID-19 crisis and prevent another one. Follow our work at DaytonDailyNews.com/path-forward.