Handling Mixed Signals: How to convey clear pro-vaccination messages 

SYMPOSIUM 4 – Connect: I get it; but not quite; say huh!?! When Communication is Key! 



10 November 2023 

11:00 – 12:20H 



Iqbal Ahmad Memon 

Asia Pacific Pediatric Association 



Life or death for a young child too often  

depends on whether he is born in a country  

where vaccines are available or not” Nelson Mandela. (1993) 

Ever since, even when vaccines are available but not utilized, due to “Vaccine Hesitancy”, additional big & ever-growing number of children go unprotected and thus unnecessary deaths are occurring.  Vaccine Hesitancy has been listed as one of the ten global threats by WHO (2019). 

The causes of this are varied: Cultural, Religious, lack of awareness, poor or limited accessibility, fear of side effects, confidence cum Complacency, decline in medical authority, social media etc.   

Just sharing information and giving numbers about decline of certain diseases is insufficient and non-convincing approach to convert hesitant to acceptance.  

Personal experience and stories of sufferings can possibly jar emotions in the right directions for changing the decision in right direction. 

Many times, health professionals also must be targeted for correcting their information and beliefs, as it is health professionals who are TRUSTED for advice. Information and education are important, but not enough to address this issue.  

All parents want the best for their children, we need to better understand why this means refusing vaccines for some of them.    

Use of open-ended questions, reflect and respond, affirm, validate strengths, through the process of Ask, Provide and Verify and finally summarize the interaction. 

Conversation techniques and interaction modules have been developed to fight the onslaught of Antivaxxers. A list of Do’s & Don’ts has been developed for health workers for guidance for successful conversions.er  

The presentation shall be used to share some of the ways and techniques found useful.