The COVID-19 vaccine has become such a political and controversial lightning rod that many are reticent to write about it or express their opinion in gatherings. I am confident none of us have escaped the personal impact of the virus itself, nor the strong opinion about the vaccine expressed by someone within our own family or close social network.
Yet there is no end to the list of rationale put forth by individuals who are in adamant opposition to the vaccine or have adopted a “wait and see” mentality.
Fear of the unknown, distrust of public figures, misinformation or partial information, and rumors perpetuated on social media are just a few examples of factors that have eroded confidence and contributed to vaccine hesitancy.
Equally, there is no shortage of information, education, and scientific data regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and dispelling of misinformation put out there for anyone to view. However, education, information, emotional appeals, and other approaches have been only moderately successful in persuading the hesitant to action.
Our role as healthcare organizations is not to judge, preach or shame individuals who are exercising their individual right to choose what they deem best for themselves.
Our role is to attempt to instill confidence.
A couple of quick points:
Second: Those who are still dying every day from COVID-19 are nearly all unvaccinated.
So my appeal is simple:
- Talk to a trusted health care provider for advice
- Consider the greater public good achieved through vaccination (protecting those most vulnerable)
- Consider the devastating impact on our local economies and small business owners.
By Steven Davis, President, BHS Clarion Hospital
The opinions and statements made in this feature are those of the authoring organization and not necessarily those of Venango Newspapers.