Getting those who are hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines to reconsider

If you’re wondering how to get those who are hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines to reconsider, an infectious disease ecologist has some advice.

Awareness and education are key.

“I think it’s a combination of local health care, boots on the ground, doctors conversing with their patients,” said Virginia Tech’s Kate Langwig, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. “Even if you’re not worried about COVID-19, but to help protect our communities and those who can’t get one.”

While half of the nation’s adults have now received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose,
some still don’t want one. But shaming people is not the right approach.

“Convincing people that their choices are bad is not an effective way to convince them to do anything,” Langwig said.

And getting vaccinated is still important, regardless of whether or not you’ve been infected before.

“Even if you have been previously infected, you’ll get an extra boost from (the vaccine),” she said.

According to Langwig, researchers have learned the vaccines are more protective against COVID-19 variants than previous coronavirus infections.

“It may be more equivalent to, say, the second dose of your vaccine, because you do have some antibodies, and so that’s just something to keep in mind. It’s a good booster for your immune system, which has already hopefully been trained,” Langwig said.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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