Image for Opinion: How to Talk to Loved Ones about the COVID Vaccine


“That’s just how our family handles health. We prefer the natural way without vaccines.”

As an Oregon pediatrician, it’s common for my conversations with families about childhood vaccines to end this way. In 2018, Oregon ranked 44th out of 50 states in children fully immunized by age 2, and led the country in kindergarteners claiming a non-medical vaccine exemption at 7.5%.

Low vaccination rates in Oregon has led to outbreaks of deadly but preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough. In response, pediatricians strive to find collaborative, effective ways to discuss immunization with parents and families.

Read on for Dr. Mitchell’s full op-ed, published 11/23/21 in the Regal Courier.


Dr. Paul Mitchell, a pediatrician and second-year resident at Oregon Health and Science University, is an Oregon Pediatric Society board member.

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