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LISTEN: What does it take to persuade people to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Kathleen Mazor and Kimberly Fisher explain research into vaccine hesitancy

By Sarah Willey and Bryan Goodchild

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

November 16, 2021

In a new Voices of UMass Chan podcast, two UMass Chan Medical School researchers who have been tracking vaccine acceptance since the COVID-19 pandemic share reliable advice based on their findings.

Vaccine hesitancy is, “a very, complex tangled problem,” said Kathleen Mazor, EdD, professor of medicine and associate director of the Meyers Primary Care Institute. “There are some people, however, who can be moved and influenced to get vaccinated.”

Dr. Mazor and colleague Kimberly Fisher, MD, associate professor of medicine, began conducting national surveys early in the pandemic to better understand the common reasons people will or will not get a COVID shot.

“The most common concern people have is that they’re worried it’s not going to be safe,” Dr. Fisher said.

Fisher and Mazor said people want to turn to an available, trusted voice for information and vaccine delivery.

“Among people who are hesitant to be vaccinated, they're more likely to want to be vaccinated in a doctor's office,” said Fisher. “We found that the people who received an explicit recommendation were much more likely to indicate that they would get vaccinated at that visit.”

To learn more about this research and advice on how anyone can address vaccine hesitancy among friends and family, listen to the Voices of UMass Chan podcast at: umassmed.edu/news/voices.

The Voices of UMass Chan podcast, formerly Voices of UMassMed, was renamed to reflect the Medical School’s name change in Sept. 2021 to UMass Chan Medical School following a $175 million philanthropic gift from The Morningside Foundation.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
A direct recommendation from a doctor may help with vaccine hesitancy
Researchers to study health care providers’ influence on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance
UMass Medical School students to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for Worcester area
UMMS researchers study attitudes toward potential COVID-19 vaccine