Throughout U.S. nursing homes, an average of 29% of long-term care workers have been hesitant to accept the first round of the vaccine, slightly higher than the 27% rate in the general population. To counter hesitancy, most facilities offer staff education about the vaccine through handouts and webinars such as these excellent resources from the California Association for LTC Medicine.
The nursing home I’m in had a greater staff acceptance rate than average, with over three quarters of the workers getting vaccinated. Perhaps being in the pandemic epicenter in March, April and May influenced their decisions.
Personally, I was enthusiastic about being vaccinated and annoyed that it took two weeks to receive it after U.S. approval, especially because the positivity rates in New York were on the rise.
Professionally, I was curious about why some of my coworkers declined the vaccine, so I asked them.
Workers who chose not to be vaccinated mostly fell into three camps: those who didn’t trust what was in the vaccine, young women seeking to safeguard their fertility against the unknowns of the vaccine, and people who wanted to see how it worked in others before getting it themselves.
From my observations and training, my impression is that there’s almost nothing that would change the minds of those in the skeptical group except, perhaps, studies showing minimal side effects and high efficacy of the vaccine over time.