People who aren't vaccinated - what should they be called?

I see how you got that impression as I quoted you, but I was not trying to put those words in your mouth. I used your post as a jumping-off point for how I see some of the dialogue about this. My apologies if anyone misunderstood me as directly accusing you of those motivations/responses.

Your position is reasonable, and I mostly don’t disagree with it. (The main point I might disagree with is that I don’t find “hesitance” to be a euphemism for “reluctance.” Either word feels pretty much the same to me, so call it “vaccine reluctance” if you feel “hesitance” is euphamistic. And perhaps I am a little more sympathetic about people being swayed by the power of emotion over reason.) I do agree with your last paragraph and how to think about attacking that type of reluctance. It is also useful for us, I think, to categorize the types of reluctance in order to counter it in a more focused and constructive way as best we can.

How ironic. This is pretty much what some of the no-vaxxers were saying in the Atlantic article. Same argument applies to the flu shot. Not every elderly person or immunocompromised person has the ability to get the flu shot, so the more people who get it, the less those people are at risk of dying.

If everyone decided not to get the flu shot, there would be more people dying of it. As it is, there are a lot of people dying of the flu every year.

It’s recommended for all over 6 months old. Here’s what the CDC has to say:

All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual vaccination, with rare exception. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. People who can get the flu shot: Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages.

[image] › flu › prevent

Who Should and Who Should NOT get a Flu Vaccine | CDC

Yes. I hadn’t realized the guidelines were for 6 months and older (same here in Canada: I just checked). I was ignorant about this, and I will change my behaviour going forward, but it did take the pandemic to make me pay attention. I will say that no doctor or pharmacist has ever suggested to me directly that I get a flu shot, and while the responsibility is mine, I think the messaging could be a little stronger.

What adjective would have helped you to take the flu shot every year? What messaging would have helped you?

Thanks for being a good sport about me not realizing you weren’t in the US. I don’t know what the Canadian health system advises about flu vaccines. I’m hoping they provide it for you and make it super easy to get.

It turns out the Canadian advice is the same: [from the official Canadian website]

Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu shot

The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. It can save lives by:

  • protecting you, if you are exposed to the virus
  • preventing you from getting very sick
  • protecting people close to you:
    • because you are less likely to spread the virus
    • who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
  • reducing additional burden on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic

Undocumented. Their heads will asplode at being labeled that, lol.

Yeah, it sounds like where you’re at it’s not quite as advertised. My doctor at my annual check-up (which is usually around December) asks me if I had gotten my flu shot for the season and if I hadn’t, because I was being lazy or procrastinatory, he gives me some shit. Similarly, it’s hard to drive around during flu season and not see every pharmacy advertising their flu shots “free with most insurances,” often with incentives like a $5 gift card, for instance (which Target does, IIRC.) That said, the messaging is so pervasive, at least where I’m at, that it fades in to the background for me.

I would guess that some people would like to wait until some vaccines win actual FDA approval, and aren’t just being distributed under an EUA.

To be honest, I’m surprised we aren’t there, yet, given how many people have now been vaccinated.
hmmm, buries in this article, May 4, 20211:24 PM ET:

And he [Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla] said that later this month, Pfizer will ask the FDA to give full approval — not just emergency authorization — for administering its vaccine to people ages 16 and up.

So, maybe another month or two? I’m not sure how long it typically takes the FDA to respond to such requests.

Unvaccinated works for me, but it might be a good idea to always follow up by mentioning that unvaccinated means can’t get it (unfortunates); hesitant to get it (cautious - with a big dose of innumeracy), and won’t get it (back to the Pit for a description).

I’m afraid that once full FDA approval is given, the die-hards will just shift their reason for not getting vaccinated.

If shaming doesn’t work to get people vaccinated, a different tactic might be to encourage people through their underlying belief systems. As mentioned elsewhere the messages might be:

“Vaccines work WITH your own body’s natural immune system, as part of nature’s way of fighting off infections.” (Repeat “natural” as often as necessary to get the message to those who are afraid of anything artificial.)

“Be brave enough to get the vaccine. Be courageous. Be a hero.”

“This pandemic has had a terrible effect on the preparedness of the country. The economy won’t recover until we use everything at our disposal to beat it. Be patriotic and get vaccinated.”

Fewer young people would ‘get’ the reference to draft dodgers, so vax evaders is the term I will be using.


Can you explain this? Everything I’ve read says that the vaccine is safe and effective, and it’s certainly safer than getting COVID, even leaving aside the community health aspect.

I’ve had mine and I think they are important, however I am old and I can understand if some younger people are cautious that’s all, no anti anything. You don’t have to put something in your body if you don’t want to, right?

Once it is approved, you will probably have to if you’re in the armed forces. Many colleges are requiring it as well, so you don’t have to do it, but you have to do it if you want to remain in college.

I would call them misinformed, at least, and probably self-centered as well, not cautious.

Well, the thought – I assume with some knowledge of talking to people who don’t want to get it – is “sure, these vaccines seem like they are okay, but they haven’t been studied for a long time. What happens a year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now? What if long-term outcomes of the vaccine turn out to be worse than long-term Covid outcomes? We just don’t know yet.” Once again, I got the vaccine in early March, before most people. My cost-benefit analysis puts me well on the side of benefit over possible cost. But, hey, what if I’m wrong? Is that’s purely irrational thinking? Maybe. But it’s understandable, and I don’t think, personally, it’s “stupid.” (Not your word, but a word that can be used to characterized that manner of thinking.)

If this group is numerous and they’re still not sure if it’s going to be safe 10 years from now, I’m fine with calling them “dangerous.”

As I said, I think having a doctor mention it, even once, ever. Due to a chronic condition, I see a doctor four times a year at minimum. None has ever even raised the issue of flu shots. As for adjectives, “required” would have done it for me, even if it was only “required (in order to be considered a good citizen).”

I think for me the problem may be that I grew up seeing doctors only in emergencies, so although I had the childhood vaccinations, I never had an annual checkup in my teens, twenties, or thirties, and those are probably the ages where people learn what they’re supposed to do annually. I was in the US in those years and didn’t have a regular doctor or, for much of it, healthcare.

In any case, I’ll get the annual flu shot going forward, so at least I know now!

You might be interested in the topic “Vaccine refuser data thread”.

Or, visit any news site that allow comments. Many of the comments - even allowing for trolls - make me weep.

Yeah, I follow that thread. I really thought we’d be past this by early July, but now we may never get past it.