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Talking with a loved one about getting the COVID vaccine

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Shaquita Bell, MD on how to start the conversation about COVID vaccines with a loved one.

I like to talk about how relationships are really the intervention. So, my relationship with my family member is the intervention to helping them understand vaccines. So, I am going to be more effective talking to my sister or my mom or my dad, then a stranger talking to them about the vaccine. So, you already, if you’re going to talk to this family member, you already have an in. You’re already related to them, they love you, they care about you. You love and care about them. So, recognizing that you’re bringing that relationship and your love and your caring for them, asking permission, bringing curiosity and exploring.

It doesn’t, you don’t have to think, okay, I didn’t fix it this one time. They’re not getting vaccinated so, I failed. You can keep having those conversations. You can keep talking about it. You can keep negotiating and saying like, “Well, you know, I’m, I really appreciate what your beliefs are, but I don’t want my kids to have any potential for exposure, so as long as you’re not vaccinated I’m not going to be able to have my kids over. I think that’s okay, that’s your right as a parent but that’s also something to help them understand the consequences of the decision they’re making is not just for themselves, it’s for a broader set of people. It’s really impacting their community, their family, and those folks around them.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

Stay up to date with your COVID vaccine, including boosters!

COVID vaccines are safe and effective for everyone ages 6 months and older.

Immunity wanes over time. Keep up your protection against COVID by getting boosted when eligible.

Updated boosters are available for adults and children 6 months and older.