As you all know, I have been carefully studying various approaches to convincing people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. My monthly conversations with physicians in my On Doctors’ MindsSM research project have been revealing that for many doctors, continuing to try to convince their unvaccinated patients to get the shot is now seen as a waste of their time and potentially offensive to some patients. SO. They have stopped.
Conversations with clergy reveal that while some are willing to make a case from the pulpit for vaccination because they believe it is the moral thing to do, others want to stay clear of the political overtones that have unfortunately come to accompany this issue.
Joe Biden’s attempts, ranging from daily entreaties to controversial mandates, have at this point become old news, court cases, or both.
But here is a new one. Physicians offering to run discussion groups at coffee shops to present the efficacy and safety of the vaccines to groups of people who are not even their patients. Interesting. Will the casual setting and the cup of Starbucks help to seal the deal?
Bottom Line. Think about this one for a minute. If we have learned anything about the vaccine-hesitant over the last year, it is that simply talking “science” is unlikely to convince them to get their shots. And that’s true whether the people talking science are scientific experts or even their own physicians. Why would these physicians, well-intentioned though they might be, be more successful using the same approach?
But wait! There actually is a possibility of a good outcome here. Think about it for another minute. Those people who would be willing to show up for such discussions must have at least a modicum of openness to getting vaccinated. AND. In good old “peer influence group” fashion, a skilled moderator might be able to facilitate these people talking each other into getting vaccinated by exploring and overcoming their shared objections. That might work.
As long as these doctors are smart enough not to just “talk science!!!”