Parents Are More Hesitant About Coronavirus Vaccines Than Expected, Massachusetts Governor Says

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Parents are proving more resistant to getting their kids vaccinated for coronavirus than Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker initially thought.

“I’ve been in some really intense conversations with people I know, who have kids, who I think would get why it’s important to get vaccinated, and for their kids to get vaccinated. And, you know, honestly?  Sometimes I can make the sale and sometimes I can’t,” Baker told a legislative committee Tuesday (at 19:40 of the hearing video).

Some Democratic state legislators are eager for the governor to take more aggressive measures to try to combat the Omicron variant. Legislators invited Baker to appear before a meeting of the Joint Committee on Covid-19 and Emergency Preparedness Management of the Massachusetts Legislature on Tuesday, January 11.

Baker pointed out that Massachusetts has among the highest rates of the country for vaccination of children. But he sounded frustrated with the hesitation state officials have encountered from some.

“If you guys think there are things we should be doing to drive more vaccinations among either kids, or adults, or to boost populations, especially those that are harder to reach and more hesitant than others, I’m all in on this. But the kid thing in particular is a more difficult sell for many folks than I thought it would be. And I think it’s because there’s so much noise out there about vaccines generally, and it has not helped us, in my opinion, not just here in Massachusetts, but around the country, make the case,” Baker said (at 21:40 of the hearing video).

Earlier in the meeting, state Representative Bill Driscoll Jr. (D-Milton), co-chairman of the committee, asked Baker why he hasn’t set a goal for everybody in the state to get vaccinated and boosted.

Baker said top-down directives haven’t been the most effective way to get people to get vaccinated.

“The hard part with setting, you know, a hard target on this, is:  Big part of our success in this, especially with populations that are nervous either for themselves or for their kids, is the soft voice of persuasion has proven to be a heck of a lot more effective than other approaches,” Baker said (at 17:11 of the hearing video).


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