Doctor advises how to handle asking vaccination questions with friends, loved ones

When your choosing who to hang out with, you might want to know who's vaccinated against COVID-19 and who isn't. But how do you bring up that hot topic without feelings getting heated?

It can be an awkward, divisive topic the vaccine question. So how can you get into it without causing conflict?  The doctor has some advice.

If you and your family have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine you might be wondering if your friends have done the same. Is it okay to ask? The doctor says yes, clear conversation is better than fear of the unknown.

"I think most of the time a conversation resolves a lot. keeping things mysterious and unknown and everybody wondering, ‘should I, shouldn’t I, is it okay, is it not okay?’ increases anxiety for all of us," said Dr. Vanessa Jensen, Cleveland Clinic Children's.

Dr. Jensen says if you’re worried about having your family or child around someone who isn’t vaccinated, then there’s nothing wrong with asking.  However, it is important to remain respectful.

For example, if your child’s friend invites them over and the parent tells you their family isn't vaccinated - avoid lecturing them.

Dr. Jensen says instead, politely thank them for the invitation and suggest getting the kids together outside another time.

If you have a specific reason why you’re concerned - like an elderly relative at risk- share that if it seems appropriate.

"We want to try to help model for our kids," she said. "We don’t want to judge people for taking different positions on this one. I know some people are very intense, they have very strong opinions. I guess I don’t feel like putting kids in that position is going to be helpful."

Dr. Jensen says parents should also be mindful of how they’re explaining to their child why they can’t go to a friend’s house.

You don’t need to give a detailed reason, keep it simple so they can understand. take the emotion and judgment out of the conversation, to keep the peace.