5 tips to have an effective talk with someone who's unvaccinated

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 4:48pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 7:59am
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COVID-19 vaccines continue to be a politically divisive almost two years into the pandemic, and after a year that they were released to the public. University of Arizona researchers offer five tips on how to have effective conversations about them with unvaccinated individuals. 

The tips from Alliance for Vaccine Literacy research group include finding common ground, framing the conversation positively and listening actively and with empathy. UA Associate Professor and project founder Purnima Madhivanan also recommends asking for permission before giving the other person information.

“So the idea is to give the power to them to make those decisions, but to help — help them to get to that stage by providing them with all the necessary support systems," she said. 

That can including providing them with transportation, she added. 

These discussion also require patience since it can take more than one session to change someone’s mind, Madhivanan said, so it's important not to get angry or frustration if results aren't immediate.

“These are strategies that you will have to use long-term multiple times and then as you keep doing it again and again, you’ll realize your patience is also improving, your communication is improving so there is a value in doing what you are doing," she said. 

And even if you can't change someone's mind about COVID vaccine right away, Madhivanan said even getting them a few steps closer to considering it is still a victory. 

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