Conversations about vaccination aren’t easy

Every day, more Oregonians are becoming eligible for vaccination and finishing their vaccine series. If you’re one of them, you probably already know that until enough people get vaccinated, we’re all going to need to continue to wear face coverings, limit group size, physically distance, wash our hands and stay home when we’re sick — even when fully vaccinated.  

So, what do you say to friends and family who are pressing you to take off that mask and loosen up once you’ve gotten your full series (and are 14 days past your last shot)? Here are some things to consider when having these conversations:  

  • Acknowledge what the COVID-19 vaccine does and doesn’t do. Fully vaccinated individuals will be much less likely to become ill with COVID-19. However, we still don’t know if a fully vaccinated person can carry and transmit COVID-19 to others.   
  • Explain why following precautions matters. For people at heightened risk, exposure to COVID-19 could potentially be fatal. Out of an abundance of caution and care for others, we all need to wear our masks and physically distance, even if we’re not worried about our own risks.  
  • Encourage patience. The known and potential benefits from the vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms from getting COVID-19. Once more folks get vaccinated, we can return to some sense of normality. Until then, we’ll need to keep working together.  

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and when you might be eligible to receive one, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.

This article first appeared in the March 5, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.