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The easiest way to get vaccine-hesitant people to get the jab: 'Start the conversation with encouragement'

If vaccination uptake does not increase in the near future, the virus will continue to mutate. One expert suggests encouraging those who are hesitant to get their shots.

The easiest way to get vaccine-hesitant people to get the jab: 'Start the conversation with encouragement'
Image Source: Kathrin Ziegler / Getty Images

Hospitalization rates due to COVID-19 infection have been down since the introduction of the vaccine, as per reports. However, vaccine hesitancy among certain groups in countries where the jab is freely accessible has meant many unnecessary hospitalizations. One expert had an idea to help overcome vaccine hesitancy. Published on AsapSCIENCE, a YouTube channel dedicated to research on various topics within the field of science, one video discusses how fighting or arguing with people is an ineffective strategy. Instead, it suggests using a scale to indicate vaccine hesitancy and moving forward from there.


The content creator states in the clip, "The easiest way to get vaccine-hesitant people to get the vaccine is to ask them this question: on a scale of zero, never getting the vaccine, to 10, going out and frickin' partying with joy after you've got the vaccine (like me), where do you fall?" Reportedly, most people who are against vaccinations would say they fall at a two or three on the scale, research shows. Then, ask them why they are not a zero on this scale.


"This forces them to explain why they are not full stop against it and brings out any of the positive attributes or thoughts they might have about getting a vaccine," he continues. "This way, you have not created any tension. You now get to start the conversation with encouragement and not actually fighting them." Again, research has found that arguing with someone regarding their vaccination status is actually ineffective when it comes to convincing them to get their shots. At this point, it is time to positively reinforce their thoughts, focusing less on a combative, "us versus them" mentality.


The YouTuber concludes, "[This way] you can maybe encourage them to go get the vaccine, which we all need to do in order to stop this virus from mutating and to stop any further lockdowns. Because currently, right now, I cannot go outside." Since the pandemic first began, lockdowns have disrupted our way of life across the world. From students being unable to access critical education, to large populations of working-class people losing out on their incomes, global lockdowns have led to fundamental shifts in supply chains and national economies. If the vaccine is not made readily available internationally, and vaccination uptake does not go up, it is possible that the Coronavirus will continue to mutate.


The Vaccine Hesitancy Scale (referred to as the VHS) was developed by the SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy. While there are some limitations to the tool, such as ambiguity in diverse cultural settings and a lack of positively and negatively worded items for both "risk" and "benefit" components, some studies have found that the scale is a useful way to discuss vaccine hesitancy. This can be an otherwise polarizing topic, therefore having a more effective mechanism to encourage discourse (even if it is not perfect) has proven helpful.


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