It’s been a year since COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, but there are still several citizens who feel strong hesitation. Unfortunately, our unvaccinated family members, friends, and neighbors are 14 times more likely to contract a fatal case of COVID-19.
If your loved one is vaccine-hesitant, you can prioritize their safety by both acknowledging their anxieties, and encouraging them to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they are medically able.
Acknowledge Their Fears
When asked about their vaccine hesitancy, 49% of the U.S. Census Bureau’s respondents said they were concerned about the side effects, and 42% claimed to not trust the vaccine. Others question how quickly the COVID-19 vaccines were made available, and their efficacy.
One of the first ways to help ease this anxiety is to acknowledge it, as Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine explains: “Their anxiety doesn’t have to make sense to you. What the person is experiencing is real and requires sensitivity.” Recognize how these fears may affect your loved one’s decisions, and avoid invalidating their experience.
Highlight Vaccine Benefits
Remind your loved one of the many benefits of receiving the vaccine. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has an efficacy rate of 97%, and the Pfizer vaccine of 95% for preventing severe disease. While neither completely eradicates the chance of contracting the virus, they significantly lessen the virus’s symptoms and the chance of hospitalization.
Because COVID-19 vaccines reduce your risk of contracting the virus, they also reduce the chance of spreading it. While some individuals are unable to receive the vaccine due to their life situations or health conditions, if you’re able, doing so better protects this vulnerable population.
You can point out to your loved one that those vaccinated may save on medical bills. COVID-19 hospitalizations can cost an average of $24,033.
Present Quality Facts
Some of your loved ones’ hesitations may come from common vaccine myths. You can help clear the noise of these misunderstandings with sound facts.
Some may have hesitations because of how quickly the vaccine became available. The COVID-19 pandemic was declared on March 11th, 2020, and the Pfizer vaccine was FDA approved on December 11th, 2020. It did not, however, take only eight months to form the mRNA vaccine. These mRNA vaccines have been researched for over 30 years, and the method has been similarly studied for Influenza, Zika, and rabies.
Others worry that the COVID-19 vaccine can also cause uncomfortable side effects. While admittedly the vaccine may cause fatigue, headache, body aches, fever, and nausea, in a study of 954 healthcare workers at Johns Hopkins Medical, only 43% experienced side effects after their second dose. This left 57% who did not report symptoms at all.
Take Next Steps Together
It may take time for vaccine anxieties to completely subside. Guide your loved one through by scheduling a vaccination appointment together, and then go with them the day of. After receiving the vaccine, they will have to wait 15 minutes to ensure they do not have an adverse reaction. Take this time to keep them company and continuously ease their worries.
If they are worried about the side effects, create a care basket full of over-the-counter medicines and treatments to make them more comfortable. Check in on them in the days following their shot. While the vaccine can keep them medically safe, you can help them feel emotionally safe.
At LifeBrite, we will ensure your loved one has a comfortable and worry-free visit when receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Our health professionals are ready to answer any questions. Schedule an appointment with us online.
Learn More About LifeBrite
Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and LifeBrite Laboratories.