Ryan Bridge: People need to stop teasing vaccine-hesitant people

Opinion 20/09/2021

OPINION: For the past four weeks on The AM Show, we have interrogated our Government ministers on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and why it has been so far behind the rest of the world.  

We pushed and poked and prodded and over that time, we now have a target of sorts

We're now talking about the 90 percent plus club - that's where we're aiming for.

So now it's over to us. 

We know the rules of the game and the prize if we get there. 

So, how do we get there quickly? 

Firstly, people need to stop teasing vaccine-hesitant people. Stop blocking them from your social media feeds. 

People might think they look cool or hip and virtuous: "Omg I had to delete like four freaks today 'cause they're like anti-vax."

It's bizarre behaviour, and why post publicly about it? To get more followers? Some likes from your other "educated" mates?

What do you think your actions will achieve? 

Are these people, who you used to call friends, going to see that 'Gavin' or 'Sarah' has deserted them and then have a brainwave and suddenly realise the vaccine is safe and go get jabbed? 

Unlikely. It's probably going to make them feel like they're at war with people taking sides and getting angry with one another. 

Experts have told The AM Show the best way to deal with people hesitant about the vaccine is to chat with them - like normal people. Try to remain calm and tell the emotional story of why the vaccine is important.

Medsafe has already made the factual argument - we know the vaccine saves lives and all of us are better off with it than without it. 

So let's sell the story of why we should all get it. 

Do it for small businesses. Do it for the immunocompromised. Do it because this vaccine gives us some power and control of our lives back.

The one thing we shouldn't do is turn our backs on those who fear it. 

Ryan Bridge hosts The AM Show.