While most people in New Zealand are vaccinated, it can be tricky to know what to do or say when someone you care about doesn't want to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Here are some tips from the Ministry of Health if you want to talk to friends, whānau or neighbours about the vaccine.
- Acknowledge that vaccination is a personal choice
- Make sure you are both relaxed, free of interruptions and not needing to rush away when you talk
- Be respectful and empathetic
People’s concerns are real and genuine for them. Be open, respectful and genuinely curious about the reasons why they feel the way they do. Someone’s culture, family dynamics and circumstances may also influence their views.
- Try not to argue and get upset - listen to understand, not to respond.
- Ask open questions
Ask open questions (needing longer responses) to help understand their concerns. Then you will be able to share information to help address their concerns or understand why the things they have heard might be misinformation.
- Share trusted resources
Recommend they talk to their doctor or another trusted health professional to get answers to their questions.
Sit down with them to look at trusted resources like the Unite against COVID-19 and Ministry of Health websites. You will find reliable information about things like the vaccine, safety and effectiveness. If appropriate, offer to help them look for information.
Unite against COVID-19
Ministry of Health NZ
COVID-19 vaccination: Your questions answered
Information for Māori communities - Karawhiua (external link)
COVID-19 vaccination information - Ministry for Pacific Peoples (external link)
Remember you can’t change their mind, only they can.
Be kind, be respectful, offer to help, create opportunities for them to access trusted information – it may be just the nudge they need.