Engaging in Conversations About COVID-19 Vaccination


A recent article in SELF Magazine summarized helpful tips on having conversations about COVID-19 vaccination with family and friends.

Here are the cliff notes (though it’s worth a full read).

👄 Invest in meaningful relationships with a conversation, even if it’s hard. Starting a complex conversation is sometimes easier if you lead with your shared connection and empathy. Empathy requires you to see the perspective of the other person. You don’t necessarily need to agree with the them.

EXAMPLE: “I love spending time with you and I want to find a path forward that makes us both comfortable.”

👂 Be ready to listen. Ask questions to understand their perspective and receive their message. Repeat what you hear to communicate what you heard. Respond by asking if you can share your own perspective. Refer to evidence-based sources to support your position.

EXAMPLE: “What I am hearing is you feel you are not at significant risk for COVID-19 infection or complications.” I would like to tell you more about my perspective if that’s OK with you. I am worried about my child becoming sick. They are not eligible for vaccination. COVID-19 continues to spread among unvaccinated people, including children (share resources).

🐢 Go slow. Don’t enter the conversation with an agenda. Normalize the reality that several conversations rooted in mutual respect are more likely to move the needle when compared to a single interaction.

Example: “I am committed to our relationship. I hope we keep having conversations to try to find a way to safely spend time together.”

Attaching a few other resources here to guide your conversations. If you have the energy to invest, go for it!

Article in SELF Magazine

Previous Dear Pandemic posts on this topic:

How do I continue relationships with friends and family members with very different views on vaccines, masks, politics and life post COVID?

How do I respectfully share my vaccine enthusiasm with a hesitant-but-still-open-minded loved one?

Link to Original FB Post