How to Discuss Immunization With Parents Leaning Anti-Vax 

As we approach back-to-school season, vaccinations are top of mind for many parents of young children. Virginia, like most states, has strict guidelines regarding immunizations for children entering public schools. Yet, as you know, some parents are still hesitant to vaccinate.

Blame this anti-vax movement on misinformation or lack of awareness or both. But with the recent outbreak of diseases like measles countrywide, it’s more important than ever that we set the record straight and ensure parents are well informed about the importance of adhering to vaccine recommendations.

Fortunately, parents in our area who choose not to vaccinate are the minority, according to UVA family medicine physician John Gazewood, MD. “They’re primarily concerned about the number of shots and potential side effects,” he says. “I try to listen and understand where they’re coming from. Sometimes parents are just uncertain and they’re happy to get some reassurance. Typically, they respond well to that.”

Below are some resources you can use to educate your patients on why vaccination is important, offer insight on vaccine myths and misinformation, explain the pros and cons of an alternate vaccination schedule and, in the end, provide the reassurance parents need to make the best choice.

5 Tools You Can Use to Talk to Your Patients About Vaccination