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Give It Your Best Shot!

The past year and a half has been a very difficult one. Living through the pandemic has been challenging on many fronts. The ray of sunshine has come in the form of the COVID-19 vaccination. Despite its effectiveness, there has been hesitancy to vaccinate, particularly as vaccination opens up for younger age groups.

The concept of vaccine hesitancy is not new. It is estimated that nearly 25% of children under the age of two have not had all of their vaccines. There is a spectrum from questioning vaccines to outright refusal. Vaccine hesitancy is sometimes rooted in a deep love of our children and wanting to do what is right for them. It is important to garner all the right information in deciding to go forward with vaccination. Before having a meaningful discussion with your health care provider, consider the following:

  1. What specifically informs your hesitancy to vaccinate? What are the sources of your information?  Bring your references to have an open discussion regarding your worries.
  2. What is your belief about how vaccines work? Some of the hesitancy around the COVID-19 vaccination has been a worry that they may alter our genetic code. Dialogue regarding how mRNA vaccines actually work may be helpful in coming to a better understanding.
  3. How important do you think the disease is that is being vaccinated against? Sometimes we feel that diseases are somehow extinct or no longer relevant. Understanding the current prevalence of illness may help to make a decision.
  4. What is your understanding about side effects? What have you read about the incidence of those side effects? 

We live in an age of information. It is wonderful to be able to find information at the click of a button. There is also a lot of misinformation and dis-information out there. Be prepared with your worries and concerns and be ready for an open discussion.

Dr. Bhooma Bhayana is a family physician in London and the mother of two young men and grandmother of one lovely princess! She continues to find wonder and enjoyment in family practice despite more than 30 years on the job!


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