Survey: Some health care workers wary of new COVID-19 vaccines

Health care workers are expected to be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.

News 12 Staff

Dec 2, 2020, 11:02 PM

Updated 1,288 days ago


Health care workers are expected to be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.
But there are some front-line workers who say that they won’t take the vaccine as soon as it comes out.
University Hospital president and CEO Dr. Shereef Elnahal says that he is so confident in the COVID-19 vaccine that he participated in the Moderna trial.
“I felt being a part of the solution by volunteering my time and myself to do so would be a great thing to do. And also sent an example of our community,” Elnahal says.
But he says that he wishes that his entire staff was on board with getting the vaccine. A recent survey of hospital employees found that only 50% are willing to get the vaccine, while 30% said that they need more information and remain unsure. The other 20% say that they are skeptical and wouldn’t get the vaccine. This comes as the number of positive employees doubled last month and community cases surged.
“That’s not surprising, given this is a community that’s generally skeptical of new therapies and clinical trials and vaccines. There’s been some politicizing, unfortunately about this,” Elnahal says.
It is not just at University Hospital where workers are hesitant. There is concern nationwide among the health care community. Elnahal says that he is hopeful that this will change with education and information about the vaccine.
“I’m optimistic it will improve significantly. These are health care workers. They respect the system, and they are part of that system. They are there for patients and understand how devastating the pandemic has been. We have to earn their trust by presenting robust data behind this,” he says.
The hospital administration plans to work with the Health Department to educate and inform the entire staff at University Hospital. They will come up with a plan to distribute the vaccine as soon as it is available. But they do not plan to make getting the vaccine mandatory.
Elnahal says most physicians in surveys nationwide are willing to get the vaccine.
University Hospital was one of 88 sites that participated in Moderna’s phase three trial to test efficacy of their vaccine.

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