• Scare tactics won't work when trying to get parents to vaccinate their kids

    By: Graham Johnson

    Updated:

    A new Washington State University study finds scare tactics don't work when trying to get parents to vaccinate their kids.

    Graham Dixon, associate professor with the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, found parents who are hesitant to vaccinate are not persuaded by emotional images of kids sick from a disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine.

    "It backfired for that group of individuals," Dixon said.

    So what does work?

    The new United States Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, told reporters in Seattle on Tuesday that "it's very important for us to have an open, honest dialogue with parents about vaccines."

    Murthy says doctors should share the research that there's no link between the measles vaccine and autism, and that any side effects from the vaccine are minor and temporary.

    "It's very important that we are able to share with parents the experience we've had with vaccines, that tell us one- that they are safe, two- that they are effective and three- that they are the best way to protect your child and to protect your community," Murthy said.

    On Tuesday, Murthy participated in a national conference call from Seattle about the measles vaccine, and fielded questions from parents around the country.

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