Dr Maura Abbott: Talk to Your Patients About Their Vaccine Fears

October 30, 2020

Spend time with your patients, discussing both the risks and benefits of a potential coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine, emphasized Maura Abbott, PhD, AOCNP, CPNP, RN, assistant professor of nursing at the Columbia University School of Nursing.

Spend time with your patients, discussing both the risks and benefits of a potential coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019 vaccine; talk with them about their fears; and perhaps most important, be patient and transparent, emphasized Maura Abbott, PhD, AOCNP, CPNP, RN, assistant professor of nursing at the Columbia University School of Nursing.

Transcript

What can be said to assuage the fears people have about a coronavirus vaccine?

I think many of these fears are very common about any sort of clinical trial, whether it be a COVID vaccine or even trials for new cancer therapies. I think people inherently have fears, because it's a clinical trial and something that's new. And so I think what we can say as health care providers to assuage our patients’ fears is just basically to spend the time answering their questions, provide as much transparent information as we have, as possible, about the process of development, about the potential side effects.

And I think, again, we just need to be patient with people, as they're able to state their fears and we're able to answer their questions and patiently work with them very transparently, and at the level that they understand. Don't talk above their heads. Tell them exactly what's going on.

Talking about risks and benefits is another really important part of this. As you mentioned, there are definitely people that are disproportionately affected, and persons of color, and I think that's something that we should discuss with our patients when applicable.