The big takeaway for us is really that health care workers are like everyone else. The same things that predict vaccine resistance or reluctance among the general population is also predicted among health care workers. — David Lazer of Northeastern University, the lead researcher on The COVID States Project report
The big takeaway for us is really that health care workers are like everyone else. The same things that predict vaccine resistance or reluctance among the general population is also predicted among health care workers. — David Lazer of Northeastern University, the lead researcher on The COVID States Project report

We are seeing the nurses who weren't trained to recognize poorly written studies, they weren't trained to recognize anti-vaccine propaganda. And it's very convincing. That's what our struggle is in the nursing community. — Melody Butler, a nurse at Long Island Community Hospital in New York and Nurses Who Vaccinate Founding Executive Director/President
We are seeing the nurses who weren't trained to recognize poorly written studies, they weren't trained to recognize anti-vaccine propaganda. And it's very convincing. That's what our struggle is in the nursing community. — Melody Butler, a nurse at Long Island Community Hospital in New York and Nurses Who Vaccinate Founding Executive Director/President

In The Fight Against COVID, Health Workers Aren't Immune To Vaccine Misinformation
As new data shows 1 in 500 Americans has died from COVID-19 and the delta variant continues to surge across the country, the next challenge many health care leaders face is within their own staffs: the 27% of of U.S. health care workers who have not been vaccinated against the disease as of July, according to a study by The COVID States Project.

On top of that, other research shows that since the vaccine first became available to health care workers in December 2020, the rate of vaccination among nurses and nursing home aides has been lower than physicians. This may be of particular concern, since nurses and aides have such frequent and close contact with patients.

Data shows health care workers have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine at a higher rate than the general population: 73% versus 64% of non-health care workers. And many may assume that people who work in health care industry are more enthusiastic about the vaccine, and less apprehensive.

But that has its limits, says David Lazer of Northeastern University, the lead researcher on The COVID States Project report. The attitudes of health care workers toward the COVID-19 vaccine essentially mirror the rest of the country — with those living in rural areas, who are Republican, with less education and income more likely to be vaccine resistant.

"The big takeaway for us is really that health care workers are like everyone else," Lazer tells NPR.

"The same things that predict vaccine resistance or reluctance among the general population is also predicted among health care workers," he says.

Melody Butler, a nurse at Long Island Community Hospital in New York and the executive director of the non-profit Nurses Who Vaccinate, says she has heard from nurses around the country about why they don't want the vaccine.

Among the reasons: The research was done too quickly; it wasn't fully FDA-approved; they already have antibodies from working the front lines of the pandemic or perhaps getting the virus already. Many are concerned about how the vaccine affects fertility.

To be clear, all of these concerns have been addressed by scientific experts and the overwhelming evidence is that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

But Butler points out that widespread misinformation plays a role here, too. And nurses are not taught the ins and outs of vaccine research. The vaccination gap between physicians and nurses, she says, comes down to an education gap.

"When you have these new diseases popping up, it's really on nurses to educate themselves on what the research is," Butler says. "You had nurses who were floundering, looking for information. So now we see this educational gap."

"We are seeing the nurses who weren't trained to recognize poorly written studies, they weren't trained to recognize anti-vaccine propaganda," she says. "And it's very convincing. That's what our struggle is in the nursing community."


Butler says her concern for getting nurses around the country vaccinated is that she wants them to be safe and protected. The best way for health care leaders to get their colleagues inoculated against COVID-19, she says, is to operate from a place of compassion.

They need workplaces that "speak to individuals in a compassionate and kind manner," she says. "Knowing that the person talking to you wants you to get vaccinated not because it's the law, but because they care."
Read the full article: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/18/1037975289/unvaccinated-covid-19-vaccine-refuse-nurses-heath-care-workers