"Vaccination is More of a Marathon than a Sprint, so Keep Listening”

"Vaccination is more of a marathon than a sprint... and it takes time for people to develop trust in us," said family medicine physican Gretchen LaSalle, MD, during a conversation with Patient Care about vaccine hesitancy. "The first visit you have with a family might not be the day you convince them to get a vaccine."

Of course, the campaign to have all Americans vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 infection had to be a sprint, but more generally, LaSalle said, people, and particularly parents, may need time to work through concerns about a specific vaccine. Be open, inquisitive, and nonjudgemental and tease out the worries so you can address them, she suggests.

There will always be the few whose allegiance to political or antivaccination positions won't be moved but many more will be open to the science. In the video below, Dr LaSalle discusses proven approaches to the vaccination conversation and how she veers away from misinformation during a clinic visit.

Part 1. Vaccine Hesitancy: How COVID-19 Changed the Tone, with Gretchen LaSalle, MD

Part 2. Booster Fatigue, Vaccines are for Kids, and Other Obstacles to Adult Immunization in Primary Care

Part 4: Persistent Vaccine Skepticism Can Erode Clinician Confidence in their Own Recommendations


Gretchen LaSalle, MD, is a family physician with the MultiCare health system in Spokane, WA, and clinical associate professor for the Washington State University, Elson S Floyd College of Medicine, also in Spokane. LaSalle is a speaker and an author, most recently of the book, Let's Talk Vaccines: A Clinician's Guide to Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Saving Lives. She has served as clinical preceptor for the University of Washington MEDEX program and other training programs for physician assistants and nurse practioners.

Twitter: @GretchenLasalle