Arguing unlikely to sway sceptics: specialist

Having a "fact-off" with an anti-vaxxer is unlikely to be productive for anyone, communications adviser Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw says.

Actively listening and asking questions is probably a better approach.

Dr Berentson-Shaw, The Workshop co-director, is a public narrative researcher.

Encouragement for people wavering about getting the Covid-19 vaccine can help them, she says.

"Share your understanding of why it matters to you."

People firmly opposed to the Covid-19 vaccine for ideological reasons can be hard to sway.

Dr Berentson-Shaw suggests broaching topics such as the collective effort needed to keep Covid-19 at bay.

It is important to maintain relationships and agreeing not to talk about the vaccine is an option, she says.

Dr Losa Moata’ane, from the University of Otago, manages the Pacific Trust Otago clinic that runs on Saturdays.

Countering misinformation rife on social media can be exhausting; Dr Moata’ane asks people to consider which sources are trustworthy and suggests they talk to doctors.

Among the factors that can lead to a change of mind are health professionals continuing to reach out in their communities, people not yet vaccinated seeing peers opt for the vaccine and a realisation vaccination boosts protection for not just the vaccinated.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter