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A more detailed look at some of the issues around vaccines and vaccinations.

Understanding Hesitancy – Why we should engage and debate those opposing vaccination

Throughout all walks of life, there is a desire in life to silence or belittle those whom we do not like or disagree with. It is human nature to insulate ourselves from the opinions of people we do not agree with, because it is easier to receive the edification of our own beliefs and values through the messages of those with similar views. 

There are psychological studies explaining why it is more comfortable for us to go with the grain and avoid anything subversive when eating our cornflakes in the morning. As evidenced by the inherent bias or political leanings in the papers we subscribe to each day, we generally don’t like to be challenged or persuaded. 

When it comes to deciding whether the government of the day is doing an adequate job, this is fine, it is your opinion and except in an election year, this has limited impact. The problem of living in an echochamber and succumbing to our bias is that taking this pathway does not help when we have a community problem; in this case, requiring us to reach herd immunity with Covid-19 vaccination.

With the global outbreak of Covid-19 came another widespread outbreak that will have lasting ramifications for us all. The anti-vaxxer movement certainly does not have its roots in the 2020 pandemic, but it has taken hold, deepened those roots and gained strength during this time. What should be made clear from the outset is that this movement should not be attributed to or amalgamated with those who simply are vaccine hesitant. The anti-vaxxer movement is based upon the idea that a/all vaccinations are inherently bad and can have lasting negative physical effects. 

Some anti-vaxxers believe that vaccinations are much more nefarious and theories regarding mind control and subjugation have been espoused recently. This is not the forum to discuss or give credence to these beliefs and the underlying chicanery inherent in them. Instead, the aim of this blog, and organisations like Community of Immunity, is to provide education and empirical evidence relating to vaccination and why it is so important that we, as individuals, businesses and community leaders who care about our community, take up the call to support widespread vaccination.

The best way to do this is through getting as near as possible to herd immunity (the approximate stage by which the vaccinated population will be large enough to mostly stop those with the disease infecting those without the disease). As discussed in our earlier post, herd immunity is required not only to protect those most vulnerable to succumbing to the virus, but also to potentially limit the instances of re-infection, which current studies have shown to be possible following a period of immunity. If the virus is limited in the community and not spreading rampantly, it provides protection for those that need it most. 

In short, in the Covid-19 context, we need a bit more than 60% of people to take this vaccine. In order to have a swift uptake once the vaccine is available, we need to accept that people have concerns and address them with facts and evidence. Telling people that they should not be concerned or that it is not okay to be cautious is the wrong way of reaching their hearts and minds. In the history of time, there is very little that has ever occurred successfully by banning messaging or trying to stifle beliefs. 

There is no way that a liberal, democratic society can prohibit people from having concerns, without regulation of an Orwellian scale. What is of the utmost importance when challenging these views is to engage and not stigmatise.  We are experts at messaging and have spent years looking at this and similar problems and we can see no evidence that banning or limiting the voice of the vaccine-hesitant population – and thereby driving them underground – will help to stop the spread of disinformation. In fact, this sort of behaviour can lead to radicalisation where the hesitant are increasingly ready to listen to those who have a much more rigid view.  

What we should do instead, is to follow a sensible 5 point neutralisation strategy of: 1) relating; 2) engagement; 3) discussion; 4) shared exploration; and 5) idea ownership. 

Until we all get involved with this we will not make progress. Vaccine hesitancy is a growing trend and it’s not solely for Covid-19 vaccines that we need to have this conversation. 

At Get Your Jabs, we have collated and presented information for those who have concerns or who seek information. We do not seek to judge, merely to educate. We are unashamedly pro-vaccination and we believe it is time that this view is given at least equal billing with those who are similarly anti-vaccination. Let’s debate this and share our knowledge and experience for the benefit of everyone. 



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The search for a safe and effective Covid vaccine is the World’s no1 medical priority

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