Vaccine hesitancy is normal! And it’s a resilience issue.

Vaccine hesitancy is normal!

Some folks are really hesitant to get the COVID vaccine when it’s available, unsure if it’s the right, safe thing to do.

I get that. Change, even change we desperately want – like ending the pandemic – is scary. Any change causes our brains to search for potential loss and danger. That’s good! Our brain’s main job is to keep us alive. So when a change presents itself, our brain wants to know “What could we lose???” Then our brain triggers distrust. “Is it safe? Will it work?” Even when we accept that change is coming, even if we agree to get the vaccine, we don’t feel relief right away. We feel discomfort. “This doesn’t feel right! Most people haven’t done this yet. I’m outside the group!”

All of that is totally normal, and a good speed bump to make us slow down when we contemplate change.

How we react, though, can set the tone for moving forward or getting stuck. If we assume that those tough feelings – loss and distrust and discomfort – mean that we should stop in our tracks, we can get ourselves into trouble. Those feelings should make us ask good questions. They should make us search for evidence-based, factual answers.

​Too many people assume that those negative feelings – that “gut” reaction – means they shouldn’t do anything at all. We’ve been told to trust our instincts, but our instincts exist to protect us only in the very short term. Our instincts don’t understand logic or science or even “the future” as a concept. Just right now.

​Adults have choice. Choice is the way towards resilience in the face of change. So use your concern about danger, your distrust and your discomfort to push you to ask good questions and get good answers – not to stop you in your tracks.
Here is some information you can count on – it’s science, validated and tested. It’s one part of your research. As you seek to get answers you need, I hope this helps.

All my best,

Dr. G