Michigan Answers: Our Best Solution to Vaccine HesitancyMay 10th, 2021
You have probably seen our new branding campaign, Michigan Answers, on local TV, and our campaign anthem video. While this campaign focuses on our exceptional patient care, innovative research and high academic standards, Michigan Answers is also the best way to address the latest obstacle in our fight against this pandemic – vaccine hesitancy.
When people have concerns or fears about vaccines, they have questions. We have the answers.
Throughout this pandemic, before a vaccine was even available, members of our communities looked to us for answers. They sought our guidance, based on data, scientific knowledge and as the subject matter experts, on how to best survive this infectious disease and navigate through these challenging times.
Now we have the opportunity to lead our communities out of this crisis, in a thoughtful and caring way.
How can we do this? By sharing our answers, and our resources.
- First, it starts with a simple question. So many clinicians have told me when they have the opportunity, they will humbly ask a patient, “Have you gotten the vaccine?” If they seem hesitant, it’s important to acknowledge their fears, or concerns and help them consider these facts:
- Getting vaccinated is critical to not only protecting you but your family and friends.
- According to the CDC, vaccines are safe, effective and our best defense against preventing illness and hospitalizations.
- Vaccinations are critical to achieve widespread immunity to end the pandemic.
- Getting a vaccine is more convenient than ever. Appointments are available at Michigan Medicine, as well as Walk in clinics at Michigan Stadium and other locations.
- It’s often helpful to share your own vaccine experience, like these Michigan Medicine faculty and staff members in this ‘De-fanging’ the virus video.
- If you know someone who is still on the fence and needs more information, share this YouTube video where two Michigan Medicine experts: Dr. Payal Patel, of the Division of Infectious Disease and Dr. Diane Harper, of the Department of Family Medicine, address some common concerns.
- The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) held a very insightful virtual conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, and Dr. Preeti Malani, U-M’s Chief Health Officer. During the discussion, Dr. Gupta shared research that suggests that those who are hesitant are more likely to be swayed by members of their medical team. All the more reason to use our influence when we can.
- If you sense this hesitancy from your co-workers, we are grateful to our vaccine ambassadors who have volunteered to facilitate a discussion with your team about the importance of getting vaccinated. They are:
- Dr. Sandro Cinti, co-chair of the Vaccine and Therapeutics Task Force (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Stan Kent, Chief Pharmacy Officer (email@example.com)
- Dr. Njira Lugogo, a lead investigator of vaccine trials (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Dr. Cinti was also on hand to answer COVID-19 questions on a recent Wrap Podcast.
As our Vaccine Ambassador Dr. Njira Lugogo said, “It is hard to change people’s minds but I think that if I’m able to change one person’s mind, that person may talk to someone they are close to and they will persuade another person and it will have a ripple effect.”
Let’s all work together to generate that ripple effect throughout our community. They have questions and we have Michigan Answers.
Why did you get the vaccine? How did you convince a loved one, close friend or patient to get theirs? Share your story in the discussion below.