How to talk to loved ones about vaccines

The Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal

Patrick Moody

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Some people are hesitant to get vaccinated. And it can be difficult to know how to have a conversation about what’s holding them back. This is new territory for all of us, after all.

If you’re ready to dive into conversations about COVID-19 vaccines, your support can make a difference — if you do it in a positive way. 

Listen without judgment. It’s normal to have questions or concerns about new vaccines. It’s important to acknowledge any concerns your loved one has and try to understand them. Remember: The goal is not to win an argument. It’s to learn what the other person is worried about and to offer information that could put their minds at ease.

Share facts—but ask first. Sometimes people just need accurate information to help them make up their minds. But ask for permission to share what you know. They may be more open to listening and less likely to be defensive that way.

It may help hesitant people to know that:

The Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are nearly 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.

Most side effects are mild (like a sore arm or tiredness). Some people have no side effects at all, while others may feel under the weather for day or so. Serious allergic reactions are rare.

While the COVID-19 vaccines are new, scientists have been working with the technology for mRNA and viral vector vaccines for more than 20 years.

Diverse groups of people took part in the vaccine studies.

By far, most doctors who have been offered the vaccines have taken them.

Help them find their why. Why did you choose to be vaccinated? Sharing your reasons with your loved ones might help them to identify theirs. And it doesn’t hurt to remind them that you love and care about the — and want them to be healthy and safe.

Know when to press pause. If either of you becomes upset, take a break from the discussion. Maybe you’ll be able to pick it up in a more positive way later. Maybe not. But whatever your loved one decides, you still want to have a good relationship when all is said and done.

Patrick Moody is the director of marketing and public relations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. For more information about local community health programs, visit

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS