According to NPR, over 165 million people in the US have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (meaning they've received both shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single shot of Johnson & Johnson). That's amazing progress, considering that vaccinations are a huge part of the global strategy to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
However, there are still plenty of people out there who are hesitant to get the shot, despite the fact that it's more important than ever to get vaccinated because cases in the US are surging, thanks to the highly infectious Delta variant.
1. "I have a friend who convinced her parents to get vaccinated by saying stuff like, 'I know it doesn’t work, but it’ll reopen things again and it’s not gonna do any harm,' and 'A vaccine card can get you so many places.' She’s fully aware that vaccines do work, but she was just trying to use her parents’ logic against them."
2. "I got my mother-in-law to get vaccinated by threatening not to let her be around her (yet-to-be-born) first grandson. Three months later, my son has a wonderful and loving grandmother here to help whenever his exhausted new parents need a little break."
3. "My friend wasn't going to get vaccinated. She wasn’t even allergic or anything — she just listened to the stupid conspiracy theories online. Eventually I just had to tell her that I can’t be friends with her if she's going to put everyone around her, including me, at risk by not getting a shot. She eventually came around and got vaccinated."
4. "Back when the vaccines were announced and about to be introduced to the public, my mother had reservations about me getting them. I am chronically ill and have had severe reactions to vaccines in the past. Last year, the flu shot paralyzed me for a month, and I have severe allergies, so her concerns were valid. We had multiple conversations where she tried to convince me not to get one so it wouldn't make me sick, and I explained to her that I knew there was a risk I'd have a severe reaction, but if I got COVID, it would be far worse."
"Being paralyzed for a month is a lot better than dying or even having side effects for the rest of my life. I ended up having my medical team back me up on it, and she and I got the vaccine at the earliest chances we could. I had chest pain for a few weeks, but that was thankfully the only side effect."
5. "My mom refused to get it, based on her Christian values. I then sought out a well-respected doctor who's in our church. She came over and explained to my mom how the vaccine is a must, refusing it based on the Bible is inaccurate, and, in fact, it was her her pride that was keeping her from doing it. My mom got the shot that afternoon. Sometimes they need to hear the same information from a different voice."
6. "One of my friends was confused about the technology for the vaccine and was hesitant because of how fast it seemed to hit the market. I explained to him how messenger RNA in a vaccine works compared with a traditional vaccine, and let him know that scientists had been working on them since the SARS outbreak of the early 2000s, and only had to adjust the formula to make it appropriate for COVID-19. It helped calm his fears, and he got vaccinated that week."
7. "My sister-in-law wasn't really anti-vax, but very cautious. I have a PhD in biology, so she asked me to talk to her. She was worried about her future fertility. I talked to her on the phone, explained the mechanism of the vaccine, explained why and how it's safe, and then answered her questions. It was long, and I wouldn't do it with someone who wasn't a family member or friend, but it was definitely worth it."
8. "I'm a pharmacy technician in a small town, and we've lost way too many patients to COVID-19. Even still, I wasn't sure about getting the vaccine until my sister's fiancé died. My husband still wasn't convinced, and it took me throwing a crying, Hall of Fame hissy fit to get him to get his shot. Totally worth it. I refuse to lose my soulmate over stubbornness."
9. "My mom just got her first dose, and she told me it was me quitting smoking a few years earlier for her that did it. I'll take it!"
10. "For most of my family, I just had to lead by example, but my (extremely high-risk) dad took a little more convincing. He joked about the vaccine altering your DNA and all that misinformation nonsense, but on some level I think he actually believed it and was scared. Once I showed him that there was plenty of scientific literature, not just articles from Fox News, to support the vaccine's safety and effectiveness, he eventually got it."
11. "I told my younger brother — who was literally just being LAZY about it — that if he wanted to be at our Thanksgiving table, he'd better get vaccinated NOW. He went that day. Some people need personal consequences, I guess, because the 'Do it for society' thing just doesn't convince them."
12. "A friend of mine got the first dose but was absolutely knocked flat afterward, so they didn't go back for their second. They said that they didn't see the point of bothering to get fully vaxxed because the Delta variant was still making vaccinated people sick. I told them that people who are immunized might get sick, but it's way less likely, their symptoms will be mild and disappear faster, they don't need to be hospitalized, and some people don't even have symptoms. They were stunned — they said they had no idea the vaccine worked that way until I'd told them."
"They're going back to get dosed now, and I'm not mad at them for being confused. There's SO MUCH CONFLICTING INFO OUT THERE. I really wish news outlets and health organizations were leading with this fact more: If you get sick while vaccinated, there's a super-high chance that IT WON'T BE SEVERE!"
13. "My dad is selfish and wouldn't get vaccinated. To put it into greater perspective, my mom is a teacher working with kids, and I'm immunocompromised. I can't count how many times I yelled at him about how selfish it was that he wouldn’t get it after both my mom and I did. I can't count the times I walked away, devastated and crying. He got his first shot this Saturday and surprised me with the news and some flowers. He apologized and said that while the Delta variant scares him a lot, he had started to feel bad that he wasn’t getting it when he had me to think of. So basically, I annoyed the hell out of him until he got it. Whatever works!"
14. "My right-wing, Trump-supporting uncle was convinced that COVID was a hoax and followed NO safety measures. Then two of his friends died from COVID. He was first in line to get a shot. It's so upsetting that so many people only care when it hits close to home."
15. "I started talking to someone new, and he wasn't vaccinated and didn't plan on getting vaccinated. I had been researching how to convince someone to get vaccinated because it's important to me and I do like him, but after a few conversations about it based on facts and reason, I offered him a blowjob if he went through with it. He got vaccinated the next day! No regrets."
16. "My dad is conservative and has hyper-religious relatives who refused to get vaxxed. He called each of his six siblings and had a theological discussion about what the quote 'Love thy neighbor' from the Bible means. He kind of guided them to the conclusion that loving thy neighbor at present means looking out and making sure your sick, elderly, and young neighbors are safe from illness. My mom and I were both super surprised when he actually got all but one of his sisters to get vaxxed with their families."
17. "I (23 years old) convinced my little sister (16 years old) to get vaccinated despite our family's belief in not getting it (even though our mother was hospitalized, intubated, and sent home with a tracheotomy). I got vaccinated without telling anyone and showed her that I was safe and okay. I also wanted her to feel confident in her decision, so I took her to her pediatrician so that she could sit down and ask all the questions she wanted. This gave her a sense of independence that the decision was hers to make and that I supported her. Right after, she made an appointment to get the vaccine."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.