(HealthDay News) — Before authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine hesitancy was increased among Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian health care workers (HCWs) compared with White HCWs, according to a study published online in JAMA Network Open.

Florence M. Momplaisir, MD, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined hesitancy to COVID-19 vaccination among HCWs across different racial/ethnic groups in a survey study conducted over a 3-week period in November and December 2020. A total of 12,034 individuals (34.5% of those who were eligible) completed the survey, and 10,871 (32.2%) completed the survey and also reported their race/ethnicity.

The researchers found that vaccine hesitancy was highest among Black HCWs and Hispanic or Latino HCWs (83.0 and 63.5%, respectively). Of the 5440 HCWs with vaccine hesitancy, concerns about side effects, newness of the vaccine, and lack of vaccine knowledge were included as reasons (87.1, 79.2, and 75.2%, respectively). Compared with White HCWs, the adjusted odds ratios for vaccine hesitancy were 4.98, 2.10, 1.48, and 1.47 for Black HCWs, Hispanic and Latino HCWs, HCWs with other or mixed race/ethnicity, and Asian HCWs, respectively.

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“These results suggest that more work is needed to ensure confidence in COVID-19 vaccination, particularly among Black and Hispanic or Latino individuals, who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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