Learn How to Help Patients with Vaccine Hesitancy ::

Vaccine hesitancy has been a problem in the past, and it has been a big problem with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have latched onto farfetched ideas about the COVID vaccine, actually claiming that it can magnetize people, or make them impotent, or change their DNA, none of which is true.

Vaccines have traditionally been one of the best ways to combat disease, so the fact that so many people are afraid of it is a great cause for concern. Because so many people don’t want to get the vaccine, the overall effectiveness of it has been limited. Studies have shown that the vaccines effectively prevent COVID-19, but the situation will only return to some degree of normalcy if enough people get the vaccine. But as of now, it is unlikely that we will reach the threshold required for herd immunity.

Pharmacists, however, can play a big role in helping to persuade people who are suspicious or fearful of the vaccine to get it. And pharmacists can do the same for other vaccines, such as those for influenza, shingles, and pneumonia.

There are generally four reasons why people are hesitant to get a vaccine, which pharmacists need to be aware of.

  1. Fear

This is probably the main reason most people are reluctant to get the vaccine. They might be afraid of needles, adverse effects of the vaccine, becoming ill from it, or other more nebulous complications that may arise in their mind.

  1. Social coercion

People may not want to get the vaccine because it may put them at odds with friends or relatives or other people in their social group. Getting the vaccine may actually make them an outcast within their particular social set.

  1. Price

Some people are simply reluctant to get a vaccination because they believe it will be too expensive for them

  1. Lack of knowledge

Some may not get vaccinated because they don’t know what vaccine they need, when they need it, where they can get it, or how it can help them

How pharmacists can help

Pharmacists can be effective vaccine spokespeople for several reasons – they inspire trust, are easily accessible, are knowledgeable about vaccinations and medications, and are trained in educating and counseling patients.

Pharmacists are uniquely situated to help in these cases because of the trust they have built up with their patients. Also, because of their knowledge of different medications, they can clearly explain how vaccinations can help answer any patient’s questions.

Pharmacists can also use social media to promote vaccinations, posting pictures of vaccinated people online, for example, to convince friends and others to get vaccinated.

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