How to talk to vaccine-hesitant workers

By National Association of Manufacturers

Now that all American adults are eligible for vaccination and largely have easy access to vaccines, it’s even more important to convince those still on the fence about getting their shots.

To help manufacturers convince their hesitating employees, The Manufacturing Institute has partnered with the Center for Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida on a research study about how manufacturers can overcome hesitancy.

Vaccine hesitancy can be driven by a range of factors, including lack of access to vaccines, uncertainty about the process or incorrect or confusing information, the study showed.

It outlined five steps to encourage manufacturing workers to get vaccinated:

  • Communicate from a place of trust. Manufacturing leaders should communicate frequently and transparently about vaccination policies and rates within the facility.
  • Help remove barriers to getting the vaccine. Employers should make it easy to obtain the vaccine and make employees feel supported in their decision to get it. That may mean communicating in the languages their workforce uses, helping employees make appointments and offering time off for recovery if needed.
  • Highlight trusted messengers. Lots of vaccine skeptics are also skeptical of outsiders, so employers should enlist trusted local authorities, civic leaders and peer influencers to share information.
  • Customize tactics to appeal to the community. There is no one-size-fits-all message, and it’s important to reach those from different backgrounds with different ideologies. For some people, it’s important to talk about reaching herd immunity or protecting the most vulnerable. For others, it’s more effective to talk about the vaccines’ role in protecting their own families and loved ones, or themselves.
  • Address fears at an individual level. Listen to individual concerns, and guide people to a useful solution.

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