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HORIZON BLOG

Mom Is Being Picky About the Vaccine

 

Question

"My mother is holding out for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine even though she has an opportunity to get the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. I’m wondering how to convince her to take whatever she can get and be satisfied with that. 

Her logic is that a friend of hers got the Moderna vaccine and felt okay afterwards, so she thinks it‘s the best one. There is no science behind that opinion that I know of--just the recommendation of a friend. 

This situation is maddening and I just want mom to get the vaccine already. Do you have any recommendations for convincing her to simply move forward and get it done?"

 

Answer

It sounds like your mother’s friend is the type of person who wants to convince herself and others that she is the savviest shopper because she received a certain brand of vaccine. That, or your mother has trouble making decisions and blindly follows the advice of friends. 

Right now there is simply not enough data to make a definitive recommendation of which COVID vaccine to get. I believe most health care providers would recommend that your mother get whatever vaccine is available to her right now. They have all been deemed safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has rigorous standards. 

I recommend she study what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to say about the specific vaccines. I have provided here the page to access information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness.html.

Relying on friends to guide you in making decisions about your health is dangerous. It’s right up there with using the Internet to self-diagnose. As humans, we do it all of the time though. Sometimes we trust our friends more than we trust medical professionals. Often we do it because we secretly know that they will tell us what we want to hear. 

Now, in the case of your mother, heeding the advice of her friend is costing her time. If she’s willing to isolate herself while she waits, it may not make any difference. What we see now is those who are vaccinated becoming more mobile and willing to be among others. If your mother is a social person, it may get increasingly difficult for her to continue her isolated lifestyle while she waits for the vaccine she desires.

I encourage everyone to get whatever COVID vaccine they can at this time. COVID is not a disease to take any chance with, and the older you are, the greater the risk. If logic doesn’t work with mom, just impress upon her the need to maintain isolation. I wish you both well on this journey.

 

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