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CHDP Bulletin Board
Tips for Talking to Parents about Vaccines
SB 277 takes effect July 1, 2016. This law largely eliminates the religious and personal beliefs exemptions.
You may encounter caretakers who do not want to vaccinate or want to modify the schedule. Listening, caring,
and understanding builds trust with caregivers and will help them feel safe to speak honestly with you about
Here are some conversation tips developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Immunization
Program. For more information, visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/.
Take time to listen
Give caregivers your full attention. Listening plays a big role in their choice to vaccinate.
Maintain eye contact with caregivers. Pay attention to your and the caregivers tone and body language.
Repeat their concerns to be sure you understand them.
Ask for and answer questions
Let the caregiver know you want to hear their questions.
Ask questions to let them know you want to hear from them.
Tell them their infantís health is your concern too.
Keep lines of communication open
Be open to questions. A long list of questions does not mean they donít respect and trust you.
Remember caregivers are trying to make the best decision for their child.
Use science or personal experience
Use language that is easy to understand
Gauge their knowledge about vaccines to see which approach (science or personal experience) will be helpful.
Tell a personal story about an unprotected child who became ill.
Talk about the benefits and risks of vaccinations
Always talk about the side effects that may come with vaccines.
Remind caregivers that vaccines can stop deadly diseases.
Talk about the risks if they choose not to vaccinate or delay vaccines.
Ease the worry of immunizations
Give caregivers ideas on how to make the vaccination visit less stressful. Bring toys to calm the infant or have mother cuddle the child.
Praise toddlers for getting their shots and let them know everything is OK.
Write down and follow up with highly concerned caregivers
If a caregiver has many concerns, write them down and discuss at their next visit.
Call the caregiver a few days after the visit to follow‐up.