APhA Vaccine Hesitancy Campaign
Dr. Jacqueise Unonu, a pharmacist at the Howard University College of Pharmacy, discusses her conversations with patients who have questions and concerns about the COVID vaccines. “I want to listen to what they have to say. I want to listen to why they’re hesitant, what are the barriers to receiving the vaccine and address those concerns,” she says. “Just giving information is very, very powerful.”
Dr. Malaika Turner, a pharmacist at the Howard University College of Pharmacy, says she got the vaccine “not so much for myself but my family,” so she can have dinner with father regularly. “The weight being lifted is unbelievable,” she said. In her practice, strives to empower her patients to be proactive information seekers. “It’s a decision they have to make on their own time,” she says.
Dr. Estela Lajthia, a pharmacist at the Howard University College of Pharmacy, says her role is to be a credible, trustworthy broker of vaccine information. “At the end of the day, you want them to feel comfortable,” she says, even if it means they need more time to think about their decision.
Dr. Tamara McCants, a clinical pharmacist in Washington DC, says people have deep-rooted reasons for not wanting to get the vaccine, so a single conversation probably won’t change their mind. But if they have more conversations with their relatives, watch them get the vaccinated and “be totally fine,” they’re more comfortable getting the vaccine themselves, she says.
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