Skip to content

What can I say to someone who is reluctant to get 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 someone who still has questions.

So, with all things, I think we need to give everyone grace. So anytime you want to have a conversation about something that you feel is challenging. So, you feel yourself preparing for something you want to you want to bring curiosity. So, you’re, you’re asking the person, tell me more about how you feel. Tell me more about what you’re worried about, what you’re afraid of, what your hopes are, what your dreams are.

You’re bringing that curiosity to the conversation, and then I think it’s really important to ask permission to say, “Hey, you know, I, I really want to keep my kids protected. And I know you have some questions about the vaccine. Would it be okay if we have a conversation about the vaccine and what your concerns are? And I could share with you what I’ve learned and what I am worried about.” So, usually bringing curiosity and asking permission is a really good place to start from. I think the other thing that you can help people understand is validating their emotions. It is normal to be afraid right now, it’s normal to be afraid of the infection and it’s normal to be afraid of the vaccine. It shouldn’t paralyze us. It shouldn’t prevent us from moving forward, but it is an okay, it’s okay thing to feel.

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 (bivalent) boosters are now available for adults and children 6 months and older.