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Vaccine Fear: Why are more healthcare workers not vaccinated with COVID-19?

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Note: This is the fifth in a series of stories about the concerns of those who are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccination.Read the previous article at timesfreepress.com/covid..

When COVID-19 shots became available in December, frontline healthcare professionals were first lined up, but according to Polling, healthcare professionals could also hesitate to vaccinate, and healthcare professionals. Some people are concerned about vaccines that question whether they know anything. We won’t do the rest.

As of early March, 52% of front-line healthcare professionals reported receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine, and 42% reported receiving both. That is, half of the frontline medical staff remained unvaccinated. time, According to a survey of front-line healthcare professionals Conducted in April by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In another survey of 160 local hospital leaders conducted by the Chartis Center for Rural Health from March 12 to April 15, nearly half of the respondents, 21% to 50% of their staff, were COVID-19 vaccines. Reported that it was decided not to inoculate.

“When asked why healthcare professionals refused the COVID vaccine, the majority of respondents (44%) cited a’personal choice question’,” the survey said. Reported in the trade magazine Fierce Healthcare..

According to a Fierce Healthcare article, “another 31% reported lack of confidence in the vaccine.”

This week, Times Free Press is addressing some of the common questions about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. “How will the COVID-19 vaccine be safe if development is urgent?”; “What is included in the COVID-19 vaccine?”; “How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?”And “How common are adverse events and how can we know that the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are absent?”

In this final installment, we will consider the following:

Question: If the COVID-19 vaccines are so good, why aren’t more healthcare professionals taking them?

Answer: Healthcare workers may experience the same factors of vaccine repellent as the general public, and many of the vaccination trends among medical staff reflect the disparities in vaccination rates across the country.

The type of place medical staff go to work, their education, political beliefs, religious beliefs, where they live, and their race and ethnicity can all influence the decision to be vaccinated. There is a sex.

An ongoing research project by the Kaiser Family Foundation is tracking changes in public attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. According to a Foundation study, unvaccinated adults are usually young, colored, Republican-minded, and poorly educated.

“But unvaccinated is not a perfectly uniform group, and there are significant differences depending on intent,” the report said. “Adults who want to” wait and see “before being vaccinated are likely to be young and of color, and adults in the” absolutely not “group are republican-minded and live in rural areas. I’m out. “

Dr. Matthew Kodsi, vice president of health care at CHI Memorial Hospital, said that, like everyone, healthcare professionals are not immune to what is happening throughout the community.

“We [CHI Memorial] I’ve done a lot of local vaccination events, but the number has decreased since I did 2,000 times a day in March. Now, if I could do it 20 times at a time, I would be excited and jumping. “Therefore, unfortunately, everyone has these concerns, often because of incorrect information,” Koji said.

According to the US Census, one of the biggest concerns raised among women, who make up 76% of health care workers, is the fear that vaccines can cause infertility, “there is no scientific basis.”

“People may say,’Well, you don’t know. We haven’t tracked it for 10 years,'” he said. “Sure, I’m not saying we have long data, but what we have is the science of saying that there is no medical reason to expect it to happen. And pregnancy There are data examining people who are tens of thousands of pregnant women, vaccinated, or more — and there is no increased risk of miscarriage, so it is a risk. There is no reason to believe that. “

Dr. Ruparilimaier, an associate scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that vaccine hesitation in the African-American community is “not only due to historical recognition of medical experiments, but also due to current racism and discrimination. “. Problems related to the vaccine product itself. Is the vaccine safe for blacks? Is it safe for individuals who may have diabetes, etc.? “

According to a study by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 39% of black front-line health care workers and 44% of Hispanic front-line health care workers were vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine as of early March. I reported. White medical worker.

Education is one of the strongest predictors of vaccine acceptance in the general public and medical care.

According to the survey, workers involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, such as doctors and nurses, are most likely to be vaccinated, with 68% compared to workers who support patient care such as bathing. He reports that he has received at least one shot. Eating, cleaning, exercising, housekeeping. In the pool, 37% of the people who helped with the care were vaccinated.

Staff working in hospitals and outpatient clinics reported the highest vaccination rates as of early March, stating that 66% and 64% received injections, respectively. However, the proportion of clinic staff (52%) and nursing homes or long-term care facilities (50%) was low.

One in four home health care workers (26%) report vaccination, which does not require a formal education qualification and is a job that pays about $ 10 to $ 12 per hour.

Koji said hospitals continue to educate both staff and the general public about vaccine safety, and in many cases the best tool for overcoming hesitation is individual conversations with people. .. He recalled talking to a group of people who were discussing whether to get vaccinated at a recent vaccine event.

“We had a really good conversation. It took us about 10 or 15 minutes, and they then felt comfortable getting the vaccine and did,” Koji said. .. “The most important thing our system, community and healthcare professionals can do is make sure that everyone who decides whether to vaccinate makes that decision with the most accurate information possible. ..

“We don’t want people to feel like they’re trying to tell them they have to get it,” he said. “We want to respect their concerns, address their concerns and make sure they have the information they need so that they can really make the best decisions for them.”

Contact Elizabeth Fite ([email protected]) or follow her on Twitter @ ecfite.

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