You Can Stop Vaccine Hesitancy

Yesterday, while waiting to get his baby’s vaccines at the doctor’s office, Mark Zuckerberg did the one thing we should all be doing to combat vaccine hesitancy:

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And, no, I’m not suggesting you start your own social media empire. That’s not what you need to do.

You need to tell people that you are (or have been) vaccinating your children. You need to tell people publicly. Because if everyone who did vaccinate their children simply posted a photo like this on social media, the anti-vaccine movement would look like that tiny less-than-one-percent that they are instead of a loud, social media enterprise.

It’s called social norming, and it might be more effective than debating other people about vaccines and debunking their misinformation. A simple I VACCINATE statement, when made by everyone, shows just how ubiquitous this decision is, and also just how safe the decision to do so is. Imagine being a new parent and seeing photo after photo of friends saying “Time for vaccines!” on the internet (or heck–in person!). All those babies that you know who are vaccinated and are fine show just how safe immunizing can be.

Because I am so passionate about social norming, I am willing to insist that your duty speak up about vaccinating is just as important as your duty to vaccinate your children. If you truly want to protect your child and your community, it is your responsibility to help stem the tide of vaccine hesitancy. I bolded that because it is important.

In fact, there is evidence that your advice about vaccinating makes a difference. According to research by Dr. Emily Brunson out of Texas State University, “the variable most predictive of parents’ vaccination decisions was the percent of parents’ people networks recommending nonconformity” to the immunization schedule. In other words, the more people who recommend you not vaccinate on-time, the more likely you are not to vaccinate on time. Conversely, if everyone you know recommends you vaccinate on-time, you are unlikely to deviate from the vaccine schedule.

So get out there and tell your friends and family members and FarmVille collaborators that you vaccinate your children, end of story.

2 thoughts on “You Can Stop Vaccine Hesitancy

  1. Would you hesitate at the thought that your child would lose at Russian Roulette and be injured for life? INFORM yourself. Read the Merc Insert for MMR. One of the FIRST adverse outcomes is TYPE 1 DIABETES. One vaccine………diabetes for life………..
    I will continue to fight for the CHOICE of which medicines I will put in my and my children bodies. What you are describing above is MEDICAL TYRANNY. I sleep well at night knowing I am fighting for health and liberty.
    Diane Sawicki


    • Please explain to me how publicly sharing your own child’s vaccination status is medical tyranny?

      I’ve read the package inserts, and I understand that the adverse events described are part of the reporting of all medical events that occur after vaccination during the trials and are not necessarily caused by the vaccine. I learned that these events were not necessarily causally linked by reading the package inserts, which state as much.

      Vaccines are safe. Any fair risk assessment lands in favor of immunization.

      Liked by 1 person

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