A Guide to Vaccine Hesitancy Conversations: Building Confidence in Primary Care

Speakers: M Leslie, R Fadaak, N Pinto

Although the number of vaccinations in Canada continues to rise, the decrease in vaccine hesitancy (VH) is occurring at a much slower rate. Recent surveys have indicated that at least 18% of Canadians have some level of VH towards COVID‑19 vaccines. Primary Care Physicians (PCPs), with their long-term, trusting relationships with patients, are playing a significant role in vaccine uptake. The status quo for conversations about vaccination is to use the ‘deficit model’ of science communication approach – an approach to correct misinformation with facts. Research suggests that this type of communication can often backfire when the source of hesitancy is cultural or social in nature and can even make previously held hesitancy stronger.

The Vaccine Hesitancy Guide, developed by a research team at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, aims to improve the capacity of clinicians and their teams to effectively communicate and promote vaccine uptake with a broad range of hesitant patients.

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