(CMR) A year ago, there was anxiety and fear as countries began administering the COVID-19 vaccine. People awaited the outcome of the vaccine that would put up a fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, over 8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide.
On December 14, Jamaican-born Sandra Lindsay, a nurse, and director of patient services in the Long Island Jewish Medical Center's ICU, was the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine in the US.
After receiving the historic shot, she told CNN: “I trust science. What I don't trust is getting COVID-19 because I don't know how it will affect me and the people around me.”
Just days earlier, on December 8, 2020, the U.K. became the first country in the world to roll out an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
The world watched in awe as a 91-year-old grandmother, Margaret Keenan, got her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
According to data collected by Bloomberg, more than 8.48 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across 184 countries. The latest rate was roughly 41.6 million doses a day. In the US, 484 million doses have been given so far. An average of 2.06 million doses per day were administered over the last week.
Lindsay said she has been motivating others to get vaccinated against the coronavirus over the past year.
Lindsay, in an interview with NPR, said convincing people to get vaccinated should be out of love and not shame.
“People need to feel love and not shame,” she said, explaining that shaming someone is more likely to shut them down.
Lindsay also believes that threatening people is not the way to convince them. Instead of telling family members they can't attend a function because they are not vaccinated, Lindsay suggested letting them know your concerns.
“Saying ‘you can't come here' is not the answer. Let them know you really want to spend time with them but that you also have concerns,” she said.
According to APR, Lindsay explained that not getting vaccinated is a matter of control for some people. People who are resistant often say they don't want people telling them what to do.
“So turn it around,” Lindsay says. She recently advised a colleague on how to deal with a grown son who was not vaccinated.
“Ask him to put himself in your shoes,” Lindsay told her colleague. Pretend he's the parent. “Ask him how he would deal with it.”
Lindsay told NPR that you may want to pick a time and place for this conversation that is least likely to lead to confrontation. She suggested not discussing in front of family members or friends, but perhaps on a walk with just you and the other person.
Lindsay also told NPR that when having that conversation, it may also be a good time to ask the hesitant person if they have any unanswered questions about the vaccine. Lindsay said that with so much misinformation, you don't know what's holding people back until you ask. To help answer their questions, point them to online resources that offer evidence-based answers or a trusted health care provider.
Lindsay admitted that there is no single way to convince people to get vaccinated.
“One strategy is not going to get us all there,” she said, adding that each person can, however, try to influence those around them.