Someone in your life vaccine hesitant? Here’s how to have a civil conversation

SPOKANE, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee said we need to get more people vaccinated in order to fully re-open our state.

While many have already stepped up, others are still hesitant or simply just don’t want it.

People have different reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated. They can range from fear, religious views, to simply feeling like it’s not necessary. Medical experts said that’s why having an open conversation is so important.

“I’ve lost so many friends because we have different beliefs,” said Linda Harris.

For some people, like Harris, getting vaccinated is a personal decision.

“I don’t talk to people about any of this stuff,” she said.

With vaccine distribution being on everyone’s radar, it’s hard to avoid the million dollar question — have you gotten your shot?

It’s led Harris to become more and more hesitant when it comes to getting vaccinated.

“I just feel like they’re trying to take our rights and I have a real issue with that,” said Harris.

She’s not alone. Rob Owen said he didn’t like being told what to do, although he did eventually get vaccinated.

“It became more of, ‘Am I going to allow the government to force me to get it, or is it going to become my own personal choice to get it?'” recalled Owen.

“It’s tough to change people’s minds because everyone has pretty strong opinions on the matter,” said Dr. Benjamin Arthurs, Pulmonologist at MultiCare Valley Hospital.

It’s for that reason that Dr. Arthurs handles these conversations a bit differently.

“I mostly try to provide people a little bit of coaching, a little bit of information, a little bit of inspiration,” he said.

Arthurs said the push is primarily because the benefits of getting the vaccine greatly outweighs the risks.

“I think there’s lots of good reasons why we are motivating people to do this but I’m not holding anyone’s hands to fire telling them they have to,” said Arthurs.