A doctor’s advice for vaccination hesitancy


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — So far, nearly 55 percent of South Dakota’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. That means almost half the people that can get one of the vaccines, haven’t. They are willing to take their chances with the virus rather than get the vaccine.

Psychiatrist, Doctor Mathew Stanley says he’s never seen distrust to this magnitude, but he has a theory as to why so many people are entrenched in their beliefs when it comes to the pandemic. He believes it could have something to do with most of us being isolated for an extended period of time.

“A lot of people engaged in internet surfing and news surfing and they really dived into some very specious information sources. And I had one a physician a very intelligent woman who said once you go down the rabbit hole it compels you on its own, it is an interesting enough story it keeps dragging you in and you keep going back to it,” said Stanley.

If you are trying to convince someone to get vaccinated Dr. Stanley has these observations.

Understand that once someone’s mind is made up it is very hard to move them off that position. Convincing someone of your point of view will take more than one conversation. Going head to head can actually entrench them deeper into their beliefs. And you must find something, even the smallest detail that they have mixed feelings about.

“And I think for many of those people the only opportunity we have is if it is going to do good for someone they know or for instance they can visit someone in the nursing home who they’ve been unable to see, a parent or grandparent, I think those are the kind of levers that people do see that do apply to them, said Dr. Stanley,” said Stanley.

For those struggling with deciding to vaccinate or not, Dr. Stanley offers this advice.

“There is so much information and misinformation out there it is overwhelming, it is often counter to each other so maybe it is just better to go to someone you trust and have the conversation.”

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