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How a doctor discusses vaccine hesitancy with patients

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    Welcome back.
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    Most Canadians won't need convincing that
    a COVID vaccine will be worth taking
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    once it arrives.
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    But, as you just herd,
    many Canadians have questions.
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    So, to answer some of ours,
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    Dr. Cora Constantinescu,
    an infectious disease specialist
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    who works at the vaccine hesitancy clinic
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    at the Alberta Children’s Hospital
    in Calgary.
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    And Dr, I didn’t even know
    that a place such as your even existed.
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    I mean, who gets referred to you, exactly?
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    We have made it
    into a more of a streamline process
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    and have actually going out
    in the physician community
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    and told them that we are here to support them
    as they refer the patients into us.
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    And then, do you see it as your job
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    to sort of convince people to get vaccinated?
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    I see it as my job to support people
    as they’re making the decision to vaccinate.
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    So, how does that conversation sound?
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    I mean, where do you even begin?
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    I star every time reminding myself
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    that at the heart of each
    and every vaccine hesitancy appointment,
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    there is a parent trying
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    to make the best decision they can
    for themselves and for their family.
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    And it actually takes
    quite a lot of courage to come in
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    because they’re battling
    a lot of fear and misinformation,
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    and overall, a lack of trust.
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    So we spend quite a lot of time
    building rapport and trust with each family
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    understanding more about them
    so we can actually personalize
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    and tailor the communication and the message
    that we give them about the vaccinations.
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    And then,
    we work closely with public health
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    where they go ahead
    and actually administer the vaccine.
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    And that’s striking, that you would say
    there is this kind of lack of trust.
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    I mean, how would you even begin to advice?
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    I don’t know, like a provincial government,
    a local government,
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    or the federal government
    to create that or to build that.
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    Yeah, so, I really think that
    when we think about trust,
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    we have to think at the personal level,
    and at the population level.
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    And at the personal level,
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    it goes back to this idea
    of putting it into perspective
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    and understanding
    what the benefit of the vaccine
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    and the dangers of the diseases to each of us.
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    So, when it comes to COVID, for example,
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    I would encourage every Canadian
    to think of what this pandemic
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    and what they have done for this pandemic
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    and what this virus
    has taken away from them.
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    So, it might be that
    some have lost loved ones,
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    others have lost their social interaction,
    the ability of the kids to go to school.
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    There is a cost to each and everyone of us
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    and therefore, there is a benefit
    to each and everyone of us.
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    And then, we all have to go
    and have to take this vaccine
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    so we can show
    that we’re indeed in this together.
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    And then, when we move
    at the population level,
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    it’s really important
    to start building this trust.
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    It’s a hard task to take on
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    because you have to consider
    the complexity of human behavior,
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    especially about COVID-19.
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    And our health care institutions
    can't do this alone.
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    I don’t want this to come across
    as a callous question,
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    but, how do you know what you do works?
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    Because you are not the one
    administering vaccines, right?
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    Do you track your success rate,
    so to speak?
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    So, depending on how we look at it.
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    It’s anywhere between about 50 to 65 %
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    that patients will go ahead and have a vaccine
    after they’ve attended our clinic.
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    And in the vaccine hesitancy world
    actually that’s quite successful.
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    This has been an interesting conversation,
    to be sure.
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    Dr Constantinescu,
    thank you so much for your time.
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    It was a real pleasure to be here,
    thank you for having me.
How a doctor discusses vaccine hesitancy with patients

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Video Language:
Amplifying Voices
COVID-19 Pandemic

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