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How to Talk About Vaccines Without Starting a Fight

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Jun 2019
two women having serious conversation
Photo: iStock

Talking about vaccines in a mixed setting is one surefire way to get people riled up. In fact, vaccination is the No. 1 health-related point of contention for friends and family when discussing controversial topics, according to a survey from Verywell Health.

If you vaccinate your child, you’re doing it because you want to ensure you keep baby safe and healthy. While anti-vaxxers may base their vaccine fears on false or misleading information, their intentions are the same as yours. Yet, according to the survey, one in five people disagree when it comes to vaccines. More than half of people opt to hear out others’ opinions and insert theirs only when they feel like it. Adding insult to injury, one in five remain completely apathetic about the topic, and choose to just listen or abandon the conversation entirely. Sixty-five percent have no success or influence on vaccine-related conversations.

You know the saying you get more bees with honey? It certainly rings true when it comes to explaining the benefits of vaccination. It’s all about the execution. People who look for guidance on how to talk about vaccines are nearly twice as likely to have a positive impact. Plus, those who focus more on how they communicate their message are 14 percent more likely to see a positive outcome by the end of their conversation.

Verywell offers a virtual Conversation Coach to help you plant the seeds for a friendly, open-minded exchange. The most important thing to remember? Approach the discussion to vaccinate from a place that educates and not alienates, and you’ll be much more likely to fully express yourself to someone who may be a skeptic. The Conversation Coach will simulate a real chat to provide clear and accurate talking points to help promote vaccination in a non-aggressive way. Try it out here so you can master the skill of vaccination communication.

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