Doctor: The secret weapon for ending the pandemic
April 30, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 25.8%. 1 min read.
We need a hard right turn on the narrative about vaccines, writes Lucy McBride. People need incentives to take one. We must empower people with facts about vaccine efficacy and shift the media's bad news bias to one of evidence-based optimism about post-vaccination life.
Of course, risk mitigation -- masks, distancing, and ventilation -- is still critical for unvaccinated people, and for vaccinated people in public indoor spaces, until everyone who wants the vaccine has been offered one.
We must empower people with facts about vaccine efficacy and shift the media's bad news bias to one of evidence-based optimism about post-vaccination life.
We need visible public confidence in the vaccines' stunning efficacy and trusted messengers to deliver nuanced advice to vaccine-hesitant folks.
Most people who are skeptical about getting vaccinated aren't anti-vaxxers; their hesitancy is rooted in misinformation, fear about vaccine side effects, historic abuse by our medical system, denial about their vulnerability to disease or lack of a trusted messenger to deliver nuanced guidance.
Patients are motivated to get vaccinated when they realize that after vaccination they can liberalize their behaviors, see other vaccinated -- and most unvaccinated -- people without restrictions or fear, and unmask when appropriate.
People need to know, for example, that the risk of two vaccinated people sickening one another with Covid-19 is vanishingly small.
They should be made aware that vaccinated people are safe to unmask outdoors in non-close-crowd settings -- and indoors among low-risk unvaccinated people and other vaccinated people.
Instead of lecturing patients about getting vaccinated, I (like most primary care doctors) try to meet people where they are, understand their concerns, and equip them with medical evidence.
I also leave it on with any vaccinated patients who are still afraid of risk.