Evaluation evidence shows that communication is crucial to combatting vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. During an online fitness class, my trainer asked me if I would opt for vaccination against COVID-19. I told him I would do so as soon as I had the option.

Whether or not to get vaccinated has never been a dilemma as I come from South Asia, where vaccines play a major role in saving lives. The world before vaccines is a world we cannot afford to forget.

Not convinced, the trainer enquired if I was aware that the COVID-19 vaccine could alter the recipient's DNA. I argued with scientific facts that dispute this claim but very quickly realized I had lost the debate to the information the trainer had read on social media.

This is just one example of vaccine hesitancy, defined by the WHO as a "delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccination despite availability of vaccination services". It has been a major challenge for immunization programs the world over.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.