(HealthDay News) – Health care workers may be increasingly receptive to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Network Open.
Michelle N. Meyer, PhD, from the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania, and colleagues conducted a survey of all employees of a health care system on the eve of vaccine distribution to assess their intentions to take the COVID-19 vaccine and to understand reasons for hesitancy. The analysis included 16,292 employees (68.5% response rate).
The researchers report that 55.3% of respondents said they would take a vaccine, 16.3% said no, and 28.4% were undecided. Patient-facing employees, which made up 58.2% of respondents, were more likely than employees who do not interact with patients to say yes to the vaccine (57.3 vs 51.4%) and also more likely to say no (17.3 vs 15.6%). Of respondents who said no to the vaccine or were undecided, concerns included unknown risks of the vaccines and wanting more experiences reported (44.3%); 21.1% said they did not trust the rushed approval process. The investigators observed a steady increase in the intention to receive a vaccine during the response period (Dec. 4 to 22, 2020), coinciding with several high-profile, vaccine-related events. Roughly two-thirds of employees (67.2%) had received the vaccine as of Feb. 18, 2021.
“The trend of increased intention to receive a vaccine as the emergency use authorization processes unfolded and the greater number of employees who actually received a vaccine compared with respondents who intended to do so suggest that the highly visible nature of the actual processes may have reassured many respondents,” the authors write.
Meyer MN, Gjorgjieva T, Rosica D, et al. Trends in health care worker intentions to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and reasons for hesitancy. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(3):e215344. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.5344