Groom and Bride in Front of a SyringeCOVID-19 first hit the United States in January 2020. We’re now nearing the end of year two in this global pandemic, and vaccines have made a huge difference in helping to contain the disease’s spread. But fear, misinformation, distrust, and strongly held beliefs continue to fuel vaccine hesitancy among some people — which can complicate things for your 2022 wedding. Fortunately, you can handle this issue if you come up with a solid plan. Keep reading to see what other couples are doing, plus how to plan for your own event.

Current Vaccination Stats

Vaccination for COVID-19 proceeds slowly and steadily all over the globe. Our World in Data reveals that about 47% of the world’s population has received at least one shot. Around 56% of people in the United States are fully vaccinated as of October 17, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccination rates vary by state. Vermont currently is in the lead, with 70% of its population completely vaccinated. Meanwhile, West Virginia’s 40% vaccination rate is the lowest in the nation. You can see more information on Our World in Data’s state-by-state vaccination data tracker.

Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy

If you’ve already been vaccinated against COVID-19, then you’ve taken smart steps to protect yourself and others. At the same time, you may struggle to understand why some of your friends and loved ones reject the vaccine. While it’s easy to write off their refusal as simple ignorance, the truth can be a bit more complex. Here are some common reasons for vaccine hesitancy:

  • Concerns about effectiveness
  • The perception that vaccine development was rushed
  • A general distrust of vaccines
  • Worries about side effects
  • Not seeing COVID-19 as a serious threat

Some causes of vaccine hesitancy are unique to specific communities. African Americans and Native Americans have been mistreated by medical professionals in the recent past — the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, for example. Latinx Americans have also experienced discrimination when seeking medical care. For these reasons, vaccination rates among people of color are lower.

COVID-19 Vaccination and Your Wedding

You want your wedding guests to be safe. But you may be uncertain about how to broach the topic of COVID-19 vaccination. Wedding expert Jenn Sinrich details how vaccine etiquette is now a thing. If you plan on asking attendees about vaccination status, you must do so with compassion and respect. Sinrich mentions what you can request of your attendees:

  • Their current vaccination status
  • If they will be fully vaccinated by your wedding date
  • COVID-19 testing for non-vaccinated guests
  • Temperature testing before entering the venue

While you’re working hard to enact safety measures, you can politely ask for one more thing: to avoid discussing COVID-19. Hopefully, this should help guests steer clear of uncomfortable conversations, debates, and even verbal altercations. Instead, they’ll focus more on celebrating with you.

Of course, you can implement other health and safety measures. New York Times writer Maria Cramer mentions a color-coded wristband system: red for keeping distance, yellow for talking but not touching, and green for normal social contact. Whatever you decide, you need to inform everyone. Wedding expert Elizabeth Kramer offers some templates to help communicate these policies to your guests.

An Important Balancing Act

Vaccination remains key to reducing new COVID-19 infections and deaths. Inquiring about vaccination status can be part of your wedding planning. Deciding on a safety policy and communicating it clearly is vital. Following vaccine etiquette can help you respect your guests’ autonomy while advocating for everyone’s health and safety.

Category: Wedding Planning

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