“It often manifests as just complete disagreements on how to raise kids,” said Bracho-Sanchez.
To navigate the complexity, she tells her families that she would never judge parents or accuse them of not loving their kids any less if they’re afraid of vaccinations. She just asks that they talk about it.
For some childhood vaccines it can take years, but skeptical parents often come around.
She is now applying those hard won experiences, in a more accelerated way, nudging families toward getting shots for their kids in how she talks with her own family members hesitant to get their Covid-19 shot.
“These are new vaccines and that comes with a reaction and a fear that is very real,” she said. “I think we also have to remember there is massive misinformation out there.”
Her skills, and those of pediatricians like her, can help you as you talk with your own loved ones about getting protected against Covid-19.
Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking
More than 100 million Americans have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gallup poll published on March 30. That number is up from 65% from December.
Still, though, some 26% of Americans say they would not get a vaccine right now.
Getting the country over the threshold of herd immunity means finding ways to persuade at least a portion of the people still hesitant to get their shot.
Give people space, and listen to their concerns
For many, Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy manifests simply as a fear of something new.
“It is a normal human reaction to be afraid. Fear is very real. It does not make you stupid. It’s normal,” Bracho-Sanchez said. “They’re having a normal reaction and perhaps they haven’t been able to sit down with their physician.”
Look for a time to have a calm, rational conversation, where neither person is angry or likely to start a fight.