Vaccine hesitancy, a phenomenon where people refuse widely available vaccinations because of various reasons, continues to plague America. There are many reasons people might be hesitant to receive a vaccine. Some are based on a lack of information, or worse - misinformation. Some may simply be complacent, or not think that COVID will seriously affect their lives (despite deaths continuing to occur across America). Many people, especially people of color, have serious reasons to doubt that the healthcare complex has their best interests at heart. A Seat at The Table, hosted by Denene Millner, Monica Pearson, and Christine White, addressed the nature and repercussions of vaccine hesitancy in the Black community through a powerful conversation with experts in the field. It’s a thoughtful and lively discussion, and well-worth a watch. The BLK Cross is an organization furthering this work at the intersection of health, racial equity, and community organization. Their new initiative, Alive and In Color, is focused on connecting Black communities with COVID-19 resources, especially the chance to be educated about and receive vaccines. Their website features a ton of awesome tools and tips to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
No matter the cause, not getting vaccinated has serious consequences for yourself and those around you. After the recent wave of the Delta variant, healthcare professionals are additionally worried about the role the flu may play in worsening sickness this winter. This article provides a thoughtful look at the current state of vaccinations, and discusses how organizations are shifting their approach to address the levels of persistent skepticism. It can be a difficult balance between acknowledging concerns while presenting the scientific evidence about the safety of vaccines. These conversations can be especially difficult when they occur with loved ones or those we are consistently exposed to. This Greater Good strategy outlines five empathetic and effective ways to engage with hesitant individuals. Finally, for those who still don’t feel comfortable getting vaccinated, please remember the importance of wearing a mask to protect yourself and those around you.