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Are your patients vaccine hesitant?

These suggestions from Advisory Board can help you have more productive conversations with patients who have concerns about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Naturally, some patients are hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Whether it’s because the vaccines are fairly new or because of other personal reasons, a lot of people have questions and concerns, despite the vaccines currently provided being deemed safe by the FDA.

The higher the percentage of the population receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, the faster we can move past the pandemic and return to a sense of normalcy. Here are some tips for having productive discussions with patients who might be on the fence about getting the vaccine.

1. Focus on conversations with the “movable middle."

There are some patients who will choose not to get vaccinated, regardless of encouragement from their healthcare team, which is alright. Rather than spending your time having vaccine discussions with those who seem set in their decisions, spend that time educating and informing those patients who are curious and have questions.

2. Make sure you’re speaking their language.

You might have patients whose first language isn’t English. Even if they are fluent and able to carry conversations with you about their care, the language needed to describe the safety and efficacy of vaccines can be complicated. For this reason, some patients might appreciate you being able to provide resources in their native languages. The FDA has made it easier for you to do this by providing vaccine resources in over 20 different languages.

3. Share your experience.

Some patients don’t respond to data as well as they do to personal stories and anecdotes. If you feel comfortable sharing your personal experience receiving the COVID-19 vaccine with your patients, don’t be hesitant to do so. Many will find it reassuring to hear your experience getting the vaccine went smoothly and you feel safer having gotten it.

For more suggestions, see Advisory Board’s article, 10 tips for talking to people hesitant to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

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