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Introduction: Why you make a difference

Forty years ago vaccine hesitancy was something we rarely saw. Today, vaccine hesitancy is on most people’s minds. Being close to a vaccine hesitant person can be emotional and conversations can be uncomfortable, which is why we often avoid them.

But we shouldn’t.

Nothing changes on its own. We have to be part of the change. And by being willing to have these conversations, we can save lives. We know that’s a pretty heady statement but it’s true. Vaccines save 42,000 lives in the United States every year. If you could reach just one person through a conversation wouldn’t you do it?

Those who oppose vaccines are actually a very small group, but they are much louder than those who support vaccines are. That means when someone has legitimate questions about vaccines, they are more likely to hear from someone unsupportive of vaccines than someone who can share the benefits of vaccination. We need to change that. And the best way to do that is to engage in the conversation. So let’s get started!

This toolkit will help you talk with the vaccine-hesitant and make these conversations less emotionally charged and awkward.

  • We all want to do what’s best for the children we love.
  • It’s okay to have questions.

If you remember those two things and nothing else, you’ll do great. But we hope you continue to read on because we have some fabulous information and techniques to help you navigate these conversations.

Thank you for taking the time to join in this effort! Who knows, you might just save a life!

© Voices for Vaccines. Excerpts and links may be used by websites and blogs, provided that full and clear credit is given to Voices for Vaccines, with appropriate and specific direction and links to the original content. Parents, providers, advocates, and others may download and duplicate toolkits in print, without alteration, for non-commercial use and with full and proper attribution only.

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