Some Healthcare Workers Refuse to Take Vaccination

Ever since March 2020, everything has changed, including how we live and operate our daily lives. We’ve had to wear masks, social distance, and even do school virtually. The Coronavirus pandemic hit our lives like a rock, but luckily, we are starting to make vaccines.

Many frontline workers, such as doctors or nurses who are given top priority access to the COVID-19 vaccines, are turning down the opportunity. For instance, at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, less than half of the 700 eligible workers wanted to take the vaccine when first offered. 50% of frontline workers in Riverside County also have turned down the vaccine. So many were turned down that hospitals and public officials met to strategize how to distribute extra doses.

Although scientific evidence and tests prove that the vaccine is safe for anyone who does not have severe allergies to the ingredients, many people are still skeptical about taking the vaccine. A 31-year-old nurse working at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center said she refused to take the vaccine because she wasn’t sure if it was safe for pregnant women. Although the vaccine is unlikely to pose a risk to pregnant women, no trials have been conducted on someone pregnant.

A recent survey has revealed that 29% of healthcare workers were “vaccine-hesitant.” This came as a surprise to researchers, who had assumed that doctors would be most in tune with the scientific backing and evidence. Many people who said they were “vaccine-hesitant” explained that they were either worried about side effects, had lacking trust in the government, or felt COVID was being exaggerated.

“It’s certainly disappointing. But it’s not shocking, given what the federal administration has done over the past ten months,” said Sal Rosselli, the president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers. He gave words of encouragement and told everyone, “Trust science. It’s about science and reality, and what’s right.” Some people like Rosselli are worried about not enough people getting vaccinated. If too few people get vaccinated, the pandemic could stretch on for a long time, leading to an excessive amount of strain on the healthcare system and an ongoing economic crisis. Marc Lipsitch, a Harvard epidemiologist, said, “Our ability as a society to get back to a higher level of functioning depends on having as many people protected as possible.” Hospitals are making instructional videos of staff getting vaccinated to persuade reluctant workers.