Moms, dads, we need to talk: Gen-Z and millennial children struggle to have the ‘vaccine conversation’ with their parents

It seems having the “vaccine talk” can sometimes be more uncomfortable than the sex one.Especially if you’re the one initiating the conversation ... with your parents.As Ontario COVID-19 case counts hit record highs and vaccine clinics expand bookings to include more people, children of aging parents and grandparents everywhere are tasked with booking vaccine appointments online and accompanying them to get the jab.But they have to get them there first. Concerning amounts of misinformation spread across widely-used social media platforms has left Gen-Z and millennial children struggling with the task of explaining the public-health stance on the importance of vaccination. Lynn Tran knows this difficulty all too well. A first-generation daughter of Vietnamese-Canadian immigrants, much of her discussion surrounding COVID vaccines involves misleading social media posts stirring up fear and confusion among loved ones. “With the recent news of vaccine rollouts, I’ve noticed the types of conversations that would come up would involve something along the lines of an ad or article sent from Facebook,” she said. “A lot of the time, I would have to fact check them for my dad because he gets a lot of information from friends or family and does not necessarily know exactly how to source things or fact check.”Tran acknowledges that the reason for this confusion could stem from the lack of media literacy skills among a generation that did not grow up with social media and the internet. “People from our generation were taught how to source and fact check information in school,” she said. A report from the Ontario Medical Association, showed that older adults were most likely to spread vaccine misinformation online. The report said those aged 55-64 are the most engaged across “all COVID hoax topics,” including posting false information on the vaccine and its effects and engaging with conspiracies about hospital data and other alarming conversations.“Ontario’s doctors have been concerned since the beginning of the pandemic about an alarming amount of misinformation that’s been spread about COVID-19. We’ve been concerned about vaccine hesitancy before this virus became an issue,” said Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association, which represents the province’s 43,000 doctors, medical students and retired physicians, at a press conference Wednesday.Tran recalls the types of articles her family would share, citing one false post from an alleged doctor at Johns Hopkins University claiming that UV light and Listerine mouthwash was able to kill viral molecules and proteins. The article was a fake, and Johns Hopkins University issued a statement dismissing the claims. Tran says that her family’s cultural roots have also influenced attitudes toward COVID-related news and conspiracy theories. “Vietnam has always had a difficult relationship with China because of factors such as colonization and the diaspora,” she said. “They have a bias, consuming information criticizing China.” Tran says medical and scientific terms are difficult to translate into their native language, and she often finds herself translating information for family members whose first language isn’t English. On Saturday, the city launched a multilingual education campaign pushing for eligible residents to get vaccinated. Vaccine information was distributed in several languages including Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Punjabi.“We’re undertaking the largest community mobilization effort in Toronto’s history to ensure that everyone, in every part of our city, has access to reliable information and resources when it comes to vaccines,” reads a statement from Councillor Joe Cressy. “Part of that work is providing reliable information and promoting vaccination uptake in the many languages that are spoken in our city.”Gen-Z and millennial children like Tran can only hope that by working to help their parents navigate the technical challenges of vaccine booking while acknowledging the cultural, systemic and social difficulties that accompany vaccine hesitancy, they can accomplish what they’re setting out to do.To help get them there. Ann Marie Elpa is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach her via email: aelpa@thestar.ca

Moms, dads, we need to talk: Gen-Z and millennial children struggle to have the ‘vaccine conversation’ with their parents

It seems having the “vaccine talk” can sometimes be more uncomfortable than the sex one.

Especially if you’re the one initiating the conversation ... with your parents.

As Ontario COVID-19 case counts hit record highs and vaccine clinics expand bookings to include more people, children of aging parents and grandparents everywhere are tasked with booking vaccine appointments online and accompanying them to get the jab.

But they have to get them there first.

Concerning amounts of misinformation spread across widely-used social media platforms has left Gen-Z and millennial children struggling with the task of explaining the public-health stance on the importance of vaccination.

Lynn Tran knows this difficulty all too well. A first-generation daughter of Vietnamese-Canadian immigrants, much of her discussion surrounding COVID vaccines involves misleading social media posts stirring up fear and confusion among loved ones.

“With the recent news of vaccine rollouts, I’ve noticed the types of conversations that would come up would involve something along the lines of an ad or article sent from Facebook,” she said. “A lot of the time, I would have to fact check them for my dad because he gets a lot of information from friends or family and does not necessarily know exactly how to source things or fact check.”

Tran acknowledges that the reason for this confusion could stem from the lack of media literacy skills among a generation that did not grow up with social media and the internet.

“People from our generation were taught how to source and fact check information in school,” she said.

A report from the Ontario Medical Association, showed that older adults were most likely to spread vaccine misinformation online. The report said those aged 55-64 are the most engaged across “all COVID hoax topics,” including posting false information on the vaccine and its effects and engaging with conspiracies about hospital data and other alarming conversations.

“Ontario’s doctors have been concerned since the beginning of the pandemic about an alarming amount of misinformation that’s been spread about COVID-19. We’ve been concerned about vaccine hesitancy before this virus became an issue,” said Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association, which represents the province’s 43,000 doctors, medical students and retired physicians, at a press conference Wednesday.

Tran recalls the types of articles her family would share, citing one false post from an alleged doctor at Johns Hopkins University claiming that UV light and Listerine mouthwash was able to kill viral molecules and proteins. The article was a fake, and Johns Hopkins University issued a statement dismissing the claims.

Tran says that her family’s cultural roots have also influenced attitudes toward COVID-related news and conspiracy theories. “Vietnam has always had a difficult relationship with China because of factors such as colonization and the diaspora,” she said. “They have a bias, consuming information criticizing China.”

Tran says medical and scientific terms are difficult to translate into their native language, and she often finds herself translating information for family members whose first language isn’t English.

On Saturday, the city launched a multilingual education campaign pushing for eligible residents to get vaccinated. Vaccine information was distributed in several languages including Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Punjabi.

“We’re undertaking the largest community mobilization effort in Toronto’s history to ensure that everyone, in every part of our city, has access to reliable information and resources when it comes to vaccines,” reads a statement from Councillor Joe Cressy. “Part of that work is providing reliable information and promoting vaccination uptake in the many languages that are spoken in our city.”

Gen-Z and millennial children like Tran can only hope that by working to help their parents navigate the technical challenges of vaccine booking while acknowledging the cultural, systemic and social difficulties that accompany vaccine hesitancy, they can accomplish what they’re setting out to do.

To help get them there.

Ann Marie Elpa is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach her via email: aelpa@thestar.ca

Source : Toronto Star More