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Willingness to Get COVID-19 Vaccine Up in Health Care Workers

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 – Health care workers may be increasingly receptive to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a research letter published online March 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Michelle N. Meyer, Ph.D., 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 percent response rate).

The researchers report that 55.3 percent of respondents said they would take a vaccine, 16.3 percent said no, and 28.4 percent were undecided. Patient-facing employees, which made up 58.2 percent of respondents, were more likely than employees who do not interact with patients to say yes to the vaccine (57.3 versus 51.4 percent) and also more likely to say no (17.3 versus 15.6 percent). 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 percent); 21.1 percent 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 percent) 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.

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