So a few weeks ago, I met someone (not a patient) who said 'Hmm I don't think I'll get the vaccine, I heard it may cause infertility' - (a comprehensively debunked piece of misinformation).

Well, yesterday I overheard him saying something that made me laugh with joy.
That first time we spoke, I asked him where he'd heard this claim of infertility (he couldn't remember). I told him I'd heard something similar too, and looked into it. I told him where the claim originated, and why I didn't believe it. He went 'huh'.
I didn't know for sure if he was persuaded by this. In a way I was too late - two other people I know were now also repeating this false claim. Where did they hear it from? From him. Misinformation was miles in front of truth.
But I also had time - I knew I'd see him frequently.
Every time I'd see him, he'd bring up something.
'But they've rushed it', 'how can they know long term effects'. Despite saying that he wouldn't get the vaccine, it was clear to me that he wasn't anti-vax per se. But his reasoning was motivated by perception of risks to self.
Notably he didn't seem to have any broader ideological stances underpinning these beliefs (anti-establishment, anti-science/medicine, religious etc). I answered his questions, spoke about benefits/harms of vaccinating vs not, how everyone can have a different risk tolerance.
I didn't push hard because I don't think there was much to push back against. Some people do have a deeper ideological underlying world view that bolsters false beliefs. They'll engage identity protective cognition.
But some don't! Often facts *are* enough to change minds.
I felt I was making progress when last week he asked me the differences between AZ and Pfizer vaccines. I started simple, but then went into as much detail as I thought he could take - erring on the side of more rather than less nuance. I avoided "100% effective" simplicity.
Well, yesterday he was unaware that I overheard him next door, saying to someone,
"look maybe Pfizer is better than AZ, I don't know yet, but for someone like me, either is probably going to work well enough. So I'll take either when I can. Maybe later we'll get other vaccines."
I swear he said something v close to this - I'll confirm with him next time I see him. I assume when he said 'someone like me' he was referring to his age group, because we spoke about the lack of data (so far) in over 65s.
He literally changed from being someone who was (inadvertently) spreading misinformation to someone spreading 'good' information. And I think he'll continue to.

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More from @drvyom

5 Nov 20
With 6 days of zero cases, its stupid to assume Vic has achieved elimination. But 1-2 weeks from now, if we find ourselves staring at a line of donuts on the calendar, it'd be stupid to rule it out. At this point National Cabinet may want to reconsider the #covid19aus strategy.
Now, some would say they already should consider it, but I have very low expectations of our federal government.
'Wouldn't elimination mean doing the same thing we've already done?' I'd say yes and no, \mostly no. We could have a national standardised approach to #testtraceisolate & thoroughly reassess Infection Prevention Control in high risk settings (factories/food/health/aged services)
Read 7 tweets
4 Nov 20
There it is. 500,000 signatures for the #murdoch royal commission. Equivalent to almost 2% of our population. Let’s make it happen Image
Can’t wait to see the Olympic level bullshit-gymnastics from the libs to get out of this.
Next: federal ICAC
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov 20
Wow it’s actually gonna hit 500k Image
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2 Nov 20
These 1 hour limits need to be reviewed. Should test all customers even without symptoms. Most of those infected (if any) will test positive by day 5. No isolation required unless this becomes a cluster. #covid19aus
This is something both New South Wales and Victoria should strongly consider. We have so few cases that being aggressive with cluster management comes with almost no cost. #dropthehammer on every potential cluster.
Folks the one hour time limit is completely arbitrary. Not supported by any meaningful data.
Now that’s Perfectly understandable at a time when testing resources are in short supply - you need to draw the line somewhere - but this is not a problem right now.
Read 5 tweets
13 Oct 20
Questions for tomorrow's presser, pls consider!
1/ Vic CMO said y'day we might be the only nation using n95 masks on COVID wards. Considering it's widely known that Singapore, S.Korea, HK etc adopted this practice in MARCH, is it concerning that our top med officer isn't aware?
2/ How's the trial of isolating 'contacts of contacts' progressing in Kilmore progressing? Do you have plans to roll it out elsewhere? Are you considering significant $ incentives to encourage people to comply, as it might be difficult to convince contacts of contacts to isolate?
3/ Workplaces: Looking for infections in hi-risk settings is critical when we open. Gov announced asymptomatic testing of 95 such businesses 2 weeks ago.
But atm, owners can only ask 25% of workforce to be tested per month. How can we increase this? Can new antigen tests help?
Read 10 tweets
13 Oct 20
Stunning claim today by senior Vic health official today "We have the strongest PPE the world.. one of the only, if not the only place I'm aware of where people are wearing them (N95 masks)... in our COVID wards".
But then: (1/n)…
These are the guidelines from Singapore General Hospital, laid out for the world to learn from in MARCH. (2/n)…
These are guidelines for Tan Tock Seng Hospital (3/n)
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