Nearly half of health care workers haven’t been vaccinated, some hesitant

Nearly half of health care workers haven’t been vaccinated, some hesitant

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Almost half of frontline health care workers have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.

A new study shows some don’t plan to get the shots at all.

Many health care professionals including doctors, nurses, and home health aides were given priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

But only 52% of frontline health care workers said they’ve received a first dose of the vaccine, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post released last Friday.

Some health care workers haven’t scheduled their shots.

But 12% haven’t decided whether to get them and another 18% said they don’t plan on getting a COVID-19 vaccine at all.

19 News spoke with Dr. Ross McKinney, infectious disease expert, and chief scientific officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges about the findings.

“The health care workers who were least likely to be vaccinated and were most hesitant were people like nurse aides, the people who worked in hospitals who were not senior staff. The doctors, the nurses, they all want to get vaccinated. I think they know what’s going on,” he said.

The study showed most health care workers who haven’t decided, or don’t want the shots, worry about possible side effects and the newness of the vaccine.

Dr. McKinney sees that kind of hesitancy in the general population.

“Nothing is going wrong. It’s 94% effective, this is the road, and it’s safe,” he said.

A common concern among those who are hesitant is often the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization of the vaccines.

Dr. McKinney said it was necessary to get the shots out quickly, but no corners were cut.

“And the fact that all these studies are consistent, we’re seeing the same thing from Pfizer, Moderna. Pretty close from Johnson and Johnson, now AstraZeneca. We’re seeing the same kinds of effects from the vaccine, I think we should be comfortable,” he said.

Dr. McKinney said the studies done on the vaccines were the same size as standard studies for full FDA approval.

Copyright 2021 WOIO. All rights reserved.