Healthcare Workers Receptive As Other Americans; Want More Information
ShiftMed, LLC, an industry leader in on-demand health care staffing platforms, surveyed over 150 employees to determine their receptiveness to the COVID-19 vaccine. A downloadable summary report on the ShiftMed website reveals how nursing staff, mostly RN, LPN, or CNAs, feel about the vaccine and why some are reluctant to get vaccinated. The insights gleaned from the survey may give health care professionals enough knowledge to make the right decision about getting vaccinated.
“Frontline healthcare workers face a dilemma if they choose to get the vaccine and protect themselves from the virus, or not get it and potentially get COVID-19,” said Todd Walrath, CEO of ShiftMed. “To save lives, protect themselves and their families, health care workers should get the vaccine. Remember that patients and patient families need to know they are safe at the facility. Worker vaccination is one comfort for these families.”
Interesting statistics from the survey include:
- Seventy-five percent of the survey participants have not had the vaccine, while 25% have. Of the unvaccinated, 65.5% plan to get the vaccine; the remaining 34.5% will not. Staff will not get the vaccine because many feel the vaccine was developed too quickly, might be unsafe, or have too many immediate side effects.
- Although Skilled Nursing Facilities and hospitals have not mandated worker vaccination, these institutions have the legal right to do so in most cases. Six percent of participants will quit working in the profession if forced to take the vaccine.
- There is caregiver concern about reactions to the vaccination. These reactions can range from no side-effect to a sore arm at the injection site to flu-like symptoms of a fever, chills, headache, or muscle aches. A small percentage of people have died after vaccination, but this cannot be 100 percent attributed to the vaccine. The risk of serious illness, even death, from the virus is much more significant than the vaccination’s side effects.
The survey results show nurses need more information, especially on long-term studies of the vaccine, immediate and short-term effects, re-infection with the virus, herd immunity, and the recent virus variants. For example, thirty-one percent of participants believe they can get COVID-19 from the vaccine. However, this is a different type of vaccination and contains no live virus, so infection is not possible.
Sixty-two percent of participants believe that too few vaccine trial subjects were used, and seventy-five percent worry there are no long-term studies on the vaccine. However, to receive an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), pharmaceutical manufacturers must conduct clinical trials with thousands of participants. For the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, tens of thousands of people were tested, many more than typically required.