This story is part of Doubting the Dose, a series that examines anti-vaccine sentiment and the role of misinformation in supercharging it. Read more here.
The Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines may be miracles of modern medicine, but they were also developed in a remarkably short time frame, amid a sea of misinformation and conspiracy theories. So it’s understandable that some may feel initially hesitant about getting vaccinated.
While there is an immediate need to get many people vaccinated quickly in order to reduce infection rates and the chance that further dangerous mutations will occur, convincing the vaccine-hesitant may take time.
Best practices for talking about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination include genuinely listening to the concerns that others express and only providing answers you know to be true. If you’re unsure about a fact, it’s fine to say so and to direct the person to a reputable source or do more research yourself.