The Vaccine Whisperers: Counselors Gently Engage New Parents Before Their Doubts Harden Into Certainty

August 5, 2019

(STAT News) – Vaccination counselors, the new employees were called. In 2017 and 2018, over 50 of them were stationed in more than a dozen of the province’s largest maternity wards, with plans to hire one or more at every last Québec hospital where mothers give birth by 2021. The counselors are themselves a kind of prophylaxis. Their job is to ask about parents’ worries long before anyone’s trying to vaccinate their kids at 2 months of age, to answer whatever questions come up — in other words, to inoculate against the misconceptions that might infect them online. Yet, unlike most medical interventions, this one unfolds entirely on the family’s terms.