The anti-vaxxer movement has swept across the world in recent years. The decision not to vaccinate children because of preconceived ideas that vaccines are harmful or wrong has led to the occurrence of measles, mumps, and other diseases that were once nearly eradicated. The number of parents jumping on the anti-vaxxer bandwagon has reached high enough heights that herd immunity is no longer effective in many areas of the world. Herd immunity refers to the immunity of a group when the majority chooses to vaccinate against diseases. This protects those who are immune compromised or too young to receive certain vaccines. Changing the mind of an anti-vaxxer is a goal that many people have but finding an effective way to do so is a challenge.
Speak to the Anti-Vaxxer
If you spend all of your time and energy trying to change the minds of strict anti-vaxxers, you’re likely going to run out of breath before making any real progress. Instead, try to connect with those who are single Anti- Vaxxers. Vaccine hesitant individuals are often confused and worried by the claims of anti-vaxxers, so they’ve chosen not to vaccinate, or to delay the vaccination schedule. By taking the time to explain the scientific facts of vaccinations to vaccine-hesitant individuals, you’ll likely be able to ease their fears and lead them towards the decision to vaccinate.
Use the Facts Against Them
Anti-vaxxers tend to use parts and pieces of scientific studies to back their belief system. The easiest way to sway this behavior is to fight science with science, except your science will be complete and accurate. There is plenty of evidence proving that vaccines are safe, and even more evidence debunking the myths that they aren’t safe, so come to the conversation with these sources prepared. Some anti-vaxxers will argue that just because science claims vaccines are mostly harmless, that isn’t a 100% guarantee. While that statement may be true, it’s important to remind them that nothing on this earth is 100% guaranteed to be safe. We simply have to trust the science that the small risk that comes along with a vaccine is more reliable than the risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease. Bring up the fact that vaccines have existed for many years and the majority of people that have received them lived a normal and healthy life. If they really came with so many risks, wouldn’t people have decided to stop vaccinating decades ago?