Don’t Hesitate to Talk to Loved Ones

One of the most common messages I get at Voices for Vaccines comes from someone who has a friend or family member whose children are either partially or completely unvaccinated. The inclination is that as a trusted loved one, this advocate believes she can change the minds of the vaccine-hesitant people in her life. Our advocates often want to know how they start these conversations, and once they have begun, where do they go?

Today, Voices for Vaccines is introducing a toolkit that will help anyone do just that.

I am thrilled to finally bring to our members Don’t Hesitate: Talking to Vaccine-Hesitant Loved Ones with Compassion and Confidence. The journey to completing this toolkit was a long one. It honestly began with those emails–the ones from grandparents asking how to convince a daughter-in-law to vaccinate or from friends saying they cherish their friendships with vaccine-hesitant parents, but they worry about disease. Too many people could not stay silent.

So we talked to our formerly anti-vaccine members. What changed their minds? Almost every single one of them said that what changed their minds was a sustained conversation with someone who truly cared about them and their children. A conversation with someone who was compassionate yet tenacious.

And then we read the research. We read studies that discussed why people reject vaccines and how they can be persuaded to accept them.

Along the way, many people read and tried out portions of our toolkit, from our formerly anti-vaccine parents to people who were in the midst of engaging vaccine-hesitant friends to advocates who were just unsure where to start. And, as always, our amazing Scientific Advisory Board read our toolkit and gave their input and advice.

Finally, after many months of planning, writing, going back to the drawing board, editing, and smoothing out, our newest toolkit is ready for you. Don’t hesitate! Start those conversations today.

Check out all of our toolkits, too.

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