Selling vaccination

by | April 17, 2015

It is generally accepted that we are failing to convince many of the value of vaccination and part of it is our tendency to talk to ourselves and then insult those who are not convinced. Angelina Chapin echoes my thoughts about our presentation.

Angelina Chapin writes “Many Canadians fist-pumped when they heard CBC host Anna Maria Tremonti eviscerate an anti-vaxxer on Monday’s The Current,” and further says “In the race to form an opinion, feelings always beat logic.”

The vast majority of people we need to convince are simply parents who need reassurance from other parents that they are doing the right thing. Which is why the case of Tara Hills is a perfect example of how we should do our vaccination campaigns. Our publicity shouldn’t be using just dry facts in our attempts to convince people to vaccinate but to use mothers such as Tara Hills in our material.

2 thoughts on “Selling vaccination

  1. Indi

    While I agree that mocking anti-vaxxer parents is not a productive strategy (unless your goal is just to harden their position), I don’t think trying to pit our sob stories against their sob stories is a wise move.

    The options are not simply between “mocking them” and “playing on their feelings” and nothing else (or to use your terminology “insulting them” versus “not using dry facts”). It’s not impossible to make logical arguments in a way that is not threatening, not insulting, not boring, and can even be quite appealing. If we’re going to use emotional manipulation to get them to listen to and consider reason – which I don’t object to – we should use it in a way that makes facts more effective… not in a way that makes them superfluous. Down that path lies disaster.

    I’ve always thought the best method for fighting anti-vaxxers would be to turn their own “Big Pharma” strategies right the hell back on them. That is, pointing where the money is in vaccine denial, and dragging the real agendas of the anti-vaxxer ringleaders out into the light. I haven’t really seen that tactic widely or effectively used yet; most pro-vaccine messaging I’ve seen has focused on the medical facts.

    Another thing I don’t think we do well is interjecting our voices and our message into the paths of communication that anti-vaxxers most often use. I think we do a fine job of pouncing on anti-vaxxer shit that gets onto the prime-time news shows – and we shouldn’t let up on that – but I don’t think those are the most virulent vectors for anti-vaxxer nonsense. Most anti-vaxxer messaging probably gets disseminated through daytime talk shows like Marilyn Denis and Steven & Chris. I doubt we’re doing a good job of keeping an eye on them.

  2. Dee Bruin

    Why do you feel it is important to sell vaccines? Isn’t that the drug companies job? If you choose to vaccinate in your family then go ahead.

    I am not “anti-vaxx”, I am “scared shirtless”! (Yes, shirtless!)

    My niece had 9 hours of screaming right after a shot, another one couldn’t walk because her leg was stiff for months after a shot, my nephew had a seizure not once but twice in the doctor’s office right after DPT shots (he now has autism), my youngest child had a seizure three days after shots and the next time a stroke (he has had some undiagnosed disease that we deal with), my grandson had a shock-collapse 3 days after and was never the same (he now has the worst case of ADHD that his specialist has seen), and my granddaughter had a shock-collapse in the doctor’s office right after her shot.

    Just for the record, three women in our family had shots for nurses training 40 to 60 years ago. All three fainted, and all three got Lupus. No one else in our family has it. Quite the coincidence!

    I was born with measles. True story! Then I had them a second time because babies don’t have mature immune systems. I had mumps twice, once on each side. I had chicken pox and whooping cough, but I have the best immune system! My family will be down for a week with the flu and I usually just get a headache for a few hours.

    In my family we had numerous vaccine injuries and no disease complications even back in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Why do you feel you have to fight “anti-vaxxers”? Why can’t we all make our own choices? Why is your fear of getting a disease more important than my fear of having another vaccine reaction? It’s all about fear and making the best choice you can for your family member.

    I not buying your vaccines no matter what strategy you use, however, I am a caring person and I wish you and yours safety and health. If your family member has a vaccine reaction or gets a disease, I will feel for you. I promise!

    I wish you health!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.