Each vaccinated person makes their community safer. I believe it's worth having conversations with each other about the importance of vaccines. Here are some tips I find helpful from our Smithsonian educators, who have deep experience discussing complex topics. #VaccinesAndUS
Keep your expectations modest. Set an achievable goal, such as opening the topic, not changing minds in one chat. It's hard to inspire anyone to change their mind—it's even harder to be the one asked to consider changing. Treat those questions about vaccines with respect.
Before chatting with family and neighbors about vaccination, find your own why. What moves you to get vaccinated? I want to keep myself and my community safe and spend time with family I haven't seen in too long. Sharing your why can be powerful and personalizing. #VaccinesAndUS
Start the chat by seeking to understand. Ask open-ended questions, avoid judgment, listen. As themes begin to emerge, summarize what you're hearing and ask the other person if you've understood. Helping to "name and frame" the specific issue is a productive step. #VaccinesAndUS
I try to avoid assumptions, acknowledging that my history-informed views are my own. I believe our medical system is more trustworthy now due changes resulting from outcry over past inhumane treatment of African Americans. But issues like equal access to quality care continue.
Listening with empathy is hard, especially when views differ or you're worried about a loved one's health. A person with questions about vaccines is more likely to have a second conversation with you if you're a good listener—and reexamining attitudes can take more than one chat.
Ask permission to help find answers from trusted sources. Don't overwhelm with every fact. Focus on key questions. The Smithsonian brought cultural organizations together to create #VaccinesAndUS to help those seeking educational resources. http://si.edu/vaccinesandus 
If a friend or neighbor trusts you enough to have this conversation with them, honor that. Thank them for their honesty and openness to sharing their thoughts and hearing yours. When we listen to one another, we make space for hope and healing. #VaccinesAndUS
We invite you to explore and share #VaccinesAndUS. Together, we hope to build understanding of our current moment, where we've been, and where we go from here. https://twitter.com/smithsonian/status/1384911408463233024
You can follow @SmithsonianSec.
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