How to get Republicans vaccinated
Nearly half of Republicans in Michigan say they will not get vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s according to a poll conducted earlier this month by EPIC-MRA.
That’s a major hurdle for the state’s efforts to reach herd immunity and bring an end to pandemic restrictions. But there are ways to sway skeptical Michiganders.
Health officials say the key is to use trusted community networks to spread messages about COVID vaccines. Often, that means churches.
“Many of [the skeptical] individuals are people of faith and they will listen to people in that community of faith,” said Kent County Deputy Health Administrator Teresa Branson in an interview with Bridge Michigan.
Others say more people will get on board once friends and family have already been vaccinated.
“I think as more people get shots and they don’t grow a third ear, more people are going to say, ‘It’s safe and I will get the vaccine,’” said GOP political consultant Steve Mitchell.
Another important resource for vaccine information is doctors. Research shows people’s own primary care physicians are among the most trusted sources for medical information. That could help people assuage their fears about the COVID vaccines.
Still, there will be holdouts who refuse to be vaccinated regardless of who is encouraging them to. The question is can we reach herd immunity without them.
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