Experts: Disseminating Accurate Information is Essential to Managing Vaccine Hesitancy

May 4, 2021

Experts Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, and Sally Arif, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP, discussed their experiences and advice for handling vaccine hesitancy in part 1 of a 2-part interview on the topic.

With so much focus on the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations, experts Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, and Sally Arif, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP, discussed their experiences and advice for handling vaccine hesitancy in part 1 of a 2-part interview on the topic.

Soliman noted that vaccine hesitancy is not a new issue with the COVID-19 pandemic but said that it has actually existed since the introduction of the smallpox vaccine. Social media, however, has provided a platform for information to spread very quickly, whether it is true or false, so Soliman said pharmacists may be able to disseminate accurate, positive information by creating a social media presence.

Arif agreed that disseminating accurate information is essential and said that she frequently works with minority or underserved populations, so providing information in various languages is another way that pharmacists can help answer patients’ questions. She also urged pharmacists to get curious about their patients’ reasons for being hesitant without judging them, instead answering their questions with the most up-to-date information.