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Is someone justified in harassing someone to tell them if they got vaccinated or not?

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Say you got vaccinated and choose not to stand in the middle of the street to tell the world. Yet friend or coworker keeps nagging you to tell them if you did or not 

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 36 years experience.

No, they are not justified to nag at you or harass you. You tell them that is personal health information and you will not discuss it. Then walk away. If co-worker continues, then you could go to the supervisor or manager. If its a friend, then you say you value them as a friend and know that they respect your privacy. 

Well I wouldn't say that deciding to reveal the info to a friend or coworker who asks is similar to standing in the middle of the road and annoying passersby with the information. So I'd probably just tell whoever asked me that I got vaccinated at the earliest opportunity (true), no nagging required.

If I didn't appreciate their approach I'd probably tell them that they have to divulge their reason for needing to know and then I will decide about answering. 🤷🏽‍♀️

It's pretty unfortunate that vaccination against a deadly pandemic has become so polarized that people are embarrassed or worried to tell their friends or peers that they have been vaccinated.   One public health official said in an interview that they were offering discreet opportunities for covid vaccination.  

Just now, toomuchbaloney said:

One public health official said in an interview that they were offering discreet opportunities for covid vaccination.  

I can't find the right emoji for this; it's something between eyeroll and smirk. But maybe I'm just naïve. Is this official suggesting that despite the fact that one can receive, as a matter of routine procedure, healthcare for many different types of situations they may not want others knowing about, but discreet covid vax is special/necessary thing?

Inform me.

Cause I'm not a fan of drama no matter where it comes from, and this sounds very similar to run of the mill drama.

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

I can't find the right emoji for this; it's something between eyeroll and smirk. But maybe I'm just naïve. Is this official suggesting that despite the fact that one can receive, as a matter of routine procedure, healthcare for many different types of situations they may not want others knowing about, but discreet covid vax is special/necessary thing?

Inform me.

Cause I'm not a fan of drama no matter where it comes from, and this sounds very similar to run of the mill drama.

What, exactly, is your question?

The covidiot crowd isn’t known for reasoned opinions or behavior. Further, Covid isn’t the only vaccination that some - specifically teenaged minors - have sought confidentiality when they chose to get vaccinated.

If I had a significant number of covidiots in my immediate social circle, I would want confidentiality as well.

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

7 hours ago, DesiDani said:

Say you got vaccinated and choose not to stand in the middle of the street to tell the world. Yet friend or coworker keeps nagging you to tell them if you did or not 

Why is it hard to just say; yes I’ve been vaccinated when asked by a friend or coworker? Unless they’re known anti-vaxxers and you can anticipate a barrage of disinformation and recrimination following your revelation, why not simply put their minds at ease? Considering we’re healthcare professionals, getting vaccinated against an infectious disease isn’t something that ought to raise eyebrows… 

Telling friends and coworkers, people who spend time close to you on a regular basis, that you’ve been vaccinated is hardly the same as standing in the middle of a street and shouting it out to the world. 

This might just be me, but in the unlikely event that I had an anti-vaxxer friend or coworker, I would tell them anyway. I consider people who oppose safe vaccines a danger to society and will take every chance I get to share facts. But fortunately, I don’t have any people at all in my personal life who don’t believe in the benefit of vaccines. 

My employer lightened up the mask policy in offices and work rooms. If everyone is vaccinated the masks can come off but if even one person isn't the masks stay on. Well, the unvaccinated ***ed and moaned about having to reveal their unvaccinated status so now we can't ask and we have to mask at all times. Thanks a bunch! 

10 hours ago, JKL33 said:

I can't find the right emoji for this; it's something between eyeroll and smirk. But maybe I'm just naïve. Is this official suggesting that despite the fact that one can receive, as a matter of routine procedure, healthcare for many different types of situations they may not want others knowing about, but discreet covid vax is special/necessary thing?

Inform me.

Cause I'm not a fan of drama no matter where it comes from, and this sounds very similar to run of the mill drama.

Maybe you haven't met any aggressive antivaxxers. They can be very abusive in person. Their opinions are based in emotional response so the interactions quickly become emotional. They can't provide compelling facts so the arguments are centered in analysis and opinion and concern.  

I know a few antivaxxers personally.

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

IMHO, in the setting of a ongoing pandemic, every person has a responsibility to those around them to be honest about their vaccination status. 

I'd wager 99.9% of people that are uncomfortable being nagged about their vaccination status are unvaccinated folks. The fact they are uncomfortable about it, ironically, demonstrates that somewhere deep down they know they should be and feel embarrassed/guilty they aren't. 

For that other 0.1% that feel uncomfortable telling someone they are vaccinated, I'd offer this: you got vaccinated for a reason, feel comfortable sharing that reason to anyone, maybe a skeptical acquaintance would listen to you and make a better informed decision for themselves. Antivaxxers are emotional and irrational and debating them is often fruitless, however, if we don't push back on these people their pseudoscience gets a opportunity to take root in the minds of those they may not be totally decided yet. 

No, I get that. It's just that medical care, in general, can be obtained confidentially. If someone's rabid anti-vaxxer neighbor sees them in a waiting room or at a healthcare provider, they are not obligated to say that they're there for a covid vaccination. I can understand why receiving the vax at an event or vaccine clinic may raise the issue of confidentiality, but at least in my area it is no longer necessary to receive the vaccine in one of those settings. It is being offered in primary care offices, EDs, etc., etc.

I guess I just find it hard to believe that people can still get their gonorrhea treated without everyone finding out about it, but special confidential procedures are needed for Covid vaccines. I find that very hard to believe; it begs the question of reason on the very surface of it.

I am only discussing this point because it isn't a neutral claim on the part of that public official; it is sending a message about other people whether those people are actually causing the particular problem in question or not. And all I'm saying is it better be true because hysteria on either side makes things worse.

8 hours ago, heron said:

What, exactly, is your question?

The covidiot crowd isn’t known for reasoned opinions or behavior. Further, Covid isn’t the only vaccination that some - specifically teenaged minors - have sought confidentiality when they chose to get vaccinated.

If I had a significant number of covidiots in my immediate social circle, I would want confidentiality as well.

Hello, @heron

I wasn't asking a question.

See my response above.

15 minutes ago, BostonFNP said:

I'd wager 99.9% of people that are uncomfortable being nagged about their vaccination status are unvaccinated folks. The fact they are uncomfortable about it, ironically, demonstrates that somewhere deep down they know they should be and feel embarrassed/guilty they aren't. 

This about a million times!

38 minutes ago, toomuchbaloney said:

Maybe you haven't met any aggressive antivaxxers. They can be very abusive in person.

I know some people that are not vaccinated, have no intention of getting vaccinated. They're apparently comfortable with their position, why shouldn't I be? A couple of people I already knew their game before they started making comments so as soon as they did I came right out of the gate with "heck yeah, I got it the first instant I could--and bought some more stocks too...check out $MRNA!! 🤪"). I figured that'd really make their day.

But, to answer your question. I do know some people that are seriously against the covid vaccines. None have been particularly aggressive. So no, I haven't met the rabid animal that is actually going to threaten me or (???? whatever other negative consequence people are worried about) when they find out my vaccination status. And if they're only going to shun me or talk crap about me --- uh, okay. Maybe this has to do with what one considers abusive. If someone is not a viable and significant threat to my life, my family or my job/career then they aren't much of a threat.

20 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

I know some people that are not vaccinated, have no intention of getting vaccinated. They're apparently comfortable with their position, why shouldn't I be? A couple of people I already knew their game before they started making comments so as soon as they did I came right out of the gate with "heck yeah, I got it the first instant I could--and bought some more stocks too...check out $MRNA!! 🤪"). I figured that'd really make their day.

But, to answer your question. I do know some people that are seriously against the covid vaccines. None have been particularly aggressive. So no, I haven't met the rabid animal that is actually going to threaten me or (???? whatever other negative consequence people are worried about) when they find out my vaccination status. And if they're only going to shun me or talk crap about me --- uh, okay. Maybe this has to do with what one considers abusive. If someone is not a viable and significant threat to my life, my family or my job/career then they aren't much of a threat.

Then you haven't met the aggressive antivaxxers...I'm related to one...he's a very angry upper middle class male (with a trust fund) who is very angry about the liberal vaccination agenda that keeps him from his work.  He will yell an angry lecture about sheeple and Fauci emails and the ER doc that he knows into your face and then he will smirk in your face as he tells you that the pandemic was overblown and it's now over. Most of us have seen smirks from entitled but angry white males before. 

I'm just really not bothered by those types of antics. I don't care what people's facial expressions or comments are. As I said, if they aren't a threat to my life, family or job then I don't need to even think about altering a single thing.

15 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

I'm just really not bothered by those types of antics. I don't care what people's facial expressions or comments are. As I said, if they aren't a threat to my life, family or job then I don't need to even think about altering a single thing.

LOL

Well, clearly, some hesitant Americans are very much influenced by those sort of angry but aggressive antivaxxers...and anger is the prevailing emotion of the conservatives who are refusing to vaccinate.  These people do represent a threat.  

19 minutes ago, toomuchbaloney said:

Well, clearly, some hesitant Americans are very much influenced by those sort of angry but aggressive antivaxxers

I'm in "real discussion" mode, here, not argumentative spirit. 🙂 I'm serious here when I say.... Just because some public official said something does not clearly mean anything about why some hesitant Americans are not getting vaccinated. I will admit that it's possible that in making that kind of statement the official was covering one of many possible reasons that maybe someone might be hesitant no matter how likely/unlikely. That doesn't mean it's a huge problem or even likely.

I can't find a lot of info about this. I was looking around last night after I first read your comment. I did find this one article:

https://www.ozarksfirst.com/local-news/local-news-local-news/ozarks-healthcare-is-offering-confidential-vaccinations/

Quote

Dr. Priscilla Frase with Ozarks Healthcare explains the procedure, ” Every vaccine is given in a confidential environment. We have a private room for that. If you don’t want to be waiting in the waiting room, we’ll come out to the car for people. They can go through the drive-through. We’ll do whatever we can to accommodate. They don’t have to be worried about those things that they shouldn’t have to worry about if they’re making their own choice to get the vaccine, regardless of what their family or friends may think.”

So here's my problem. There is an implication being made and an accommodation being offered. The implication is that disapproving fellow citizens pose some kind of real threat in regard to all of this and the threat may keep people from being vaccinated, so an accommodation is necessary. The accommodations offered are: 1) a private room in which to be vaccinated (already exists for innumerable other healthcare encounters) or 2) being vaccinated in a parking lot.

I'm not agreeing with antivaxxers, their anti-vax choice, their anger, their disregard, any of it. What I am saying, and am fairly consistent about across a variety of topics, is that X's drama and BS is no better than Y's. Drama and BS rarely truly helps anyone's cause.

If someone is afraid to be vaccinated because their anti-vax neighbor or family member might terrorize them, well I'm glad to know that their vaccine can be administered in a parking lot to "protect" them from the antivaxxers.

I will say this: I hope this is an issue that said public officials know something about. Because if they're being disingenuous with their public statements it will only be more fuel for the fire and more fodder for anti-vaxers' derision.

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

JKL33: I think it’s a bit disingenuous to dismiss the folks in question as “anti-vax neighbors”. Parents, supervisors. employers come to mind as potential sources of actual harm. And don’t underestimate the stress of being harassed by purely social contacts. We’ve seen at least one person doxed here on AN because she had the wrong political views, according to the culprit. Not such a stretch to imagine being spotted in a waiting room at a vaccination site by someone who enjoys nailing people on social media. It’s a very, very small world.

It’s great that you feel relatively impervious to gossip and harassment (verbal and otherwise), but others do not necessarily have the same personal and social resources that you do.