Ann Christiano and Jack Barry Offer a Plan to Inspire the Unvaccinated to Get Vaccinated
Ann Christiano, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Center for Public Interest Communications director, and Jack Barry, a post-doctoral research associate for the Center, are the authors of “This Untapped Tool Could Help Boost Vaccination Rates” published in Barron’s on Jan. 27.
Christiano and Barry write about the failure of workplace vaccine mandates and share some fresh ideas to inspire the last third of Americans not yet vaccinated. They suggest activating the millions of Americans who are vaccinated to inspire those who are not.
According to the authors, “It’s time for our government and public health officials to focus instead on people who have already taken the vaccine. We should thank them for keeping themselves and the people around them safe. And then ask them to talk to the people they love about getting vaccinated.”
They add, “People who aren’t vaccinated don’t trust Biden, Anthony Fauci, or the CDC for information about Covid-19. They are unlikely to be listening or to see any prominent public health authorities as a trusted messenger if they are. However, they do trust their friends and loved ones for this kind of information.”
The Center surveyed 4,000 Americans including 700 unvaccinated people who do not intend to get the shots.
“Many in this group reported that they don’t trust political figures or national health authorities for information about Covid-19. But they do trust the people closest to them. Our survey also revealed that most people are comfortable talking about vaccination with the people around them,” the authors said. “In the future, if we appeal to people who are vaccinated to have these kinds of loving, empathetic conversations with the people they are closest to, we would do far more to get this last group of Americans vaccinated than if we appeal once more to people who are unvaccinated with shame and condemnation.”