Survey of over 950 health professionals reveals hesitancy in COVID vaccine
Vaccine hesitancy is now the catch phrase of the moment. The reluctance of eligible people to get the currently available COVID vaccine has become the latest challenge to overcome in the battle against this pandemic. At least here in Australia.
And as much as the medical media is filled with advice on how to alleviate patients’ fears and improve uptake, a recent Healthed survey shows health professionals are not immune to this reluctance to have the COVID vaccine.
According to a survey, conducted two weeks ago, it seems just three quarters (76.45%) of the almost 800 GP-respondents had been vaccinated against COVID. And it’s not because they’re too busy or can’t get to a vaccination centre. No, the commonest reason appears to be they are holding out to get a more preferable vaccine (presumably the Pfizer vaccine) with almost a quarter (24.76%) citing concerns with the COVID vaccine potential side-effects as the reason for not yet getting immunised. So, not unlike the general population.
Of course, this survey was conducted prior to the latest outbreak in Victoria, but it is telling nonetheless.
Interestingly the survey also asked nurses and pharmacists about their COVID vaccination status. Even though the cohorts were much smaller (134 nurses/midwives and 55 pharmacists), there still appeared to be significant vaccine hesitancy.
Only two thirds (67.91%) of nurses had been vaccinated and less than half (43.64%) of pharmacists. Much of the reasoning among those who had not had the COVID-19 jab was the same as that of the unvaccinated GPs. However a disproportionate number of nurses (14.58%) reported they couldn’t have the vaccine because it was contraindicated courtesy of a pre-existing medical condition.
That’s twice the rate of contraindications among GPs and almost five times that of pharmacists.