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Involving all the family in vaccination discussions is crucial in the “new norm”
Updates / News , 18 Jan 22
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Pediatrician, Dr David Tan, shared in a recent Ngalu Fānifo mental health segment on 531 PI’s Pacific Days show, that it is important for parents to have healthy conversations about the vaccine with their children.

“You should involve your children in conversations about the vaccine. There is very good material on the Ministry of Health website about things like the side effects.”

Dr Tan says as we continue to move forward with conversations about getting vaccinated, the messaging around its importance is crucial in helping young people make that decision. 

“We’re a collectivist and community minded people and it is about protecting others. There are concerns around schools, that those are the places where Covid can spread, so protecting yourself is very important. 

Pacific peoples have been disproportionately affected so this adds to the burden on us and so vaccination is a relatively simple way of protecting others and ourselves.”

Dr Tan encourages families to research together as a means of fostering safe spaces to converse about the vaccine. 

“The 16-20 year old age group are more savvy with social media and access to other ways of getting information, so there can be disagreements. It’s important to check the facts together and make sure there isn’t misinformation.

People have differing views and that shouldn't lead to exclusion from the family. People can differ in their opinions but it is also speaking about being part of something bigger and being part of a collective community.”

See the full segment here. The Ngalu Fānifo segment will return in February 2022 once a week on 531’s Pacific Days show with Ma’a Brian Sagala. You can listen in on the radio or livestream on the 531 Facebook page.


Date: 19 January 2022