COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Perspective from William Schaffner, MD
Disclosures: Kuter reports being a consultant for Moderna. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
March 11, 2021
2 min read
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1 in 10 hospital employees have no intention of receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Perspective from William Schaffner, MD
Disclosures: Kuter reports being a consultant for Moderna. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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Ten percent of employees at two hospitals in Philadelphia said they did not intend to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, survey data published in Vaccine showed.

“Vaccine acceptance among health care professionals will be important in establishing confidence in the general public in these new vaccines,” Barbara J. Kuter, PhD, MPH, of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues wrote.

 Among almost 12,000 employees at two Philadelphia hospitals: 63.7% said they intended to get a COVID-19 vaccine; 26.3% were unsure; and 10% did not plan to get vaccinated
Reference: Kuter BJ, et al. Vaccine. 2021;doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.02.029.

Researchers sent a confidential, voluntary survey to 34,865 health care employees — regardless of the employee’s clinical role — between Nov. 13, 2020, and Dec. 6, 2020, at two academic hospitals in Philadelphia. One served pediatric patients and the other served adults. Survey takers were asked to assume that COVID-19 would continue to spread in the United States for the “next few months” and that the COVID-19 vaccine would be at least 50% effective, administered at no cost, receive an emergency use authorization from the FDA and would be recommended for health care workers by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Kuter and colleagues reported that of the 11,760 survey respondents (7,271 of them from the children’s hospital) who answered questions about their intent to get the vaccine, 63.7% said they planned to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when it became available, 26.3% were unsure and 10% did not plan to get vaccinated. The most common reasons for not wanting to be vaccinated included concerns about side effects (89.1%), the vaccine being too new (84%), having insufficient knowledge about the vaccine (77.9%), doubts about its effectiveness (32.9%), and fear that the vaccine would give them COVID-19 (25.4%).

In an adjusted analysis, hospital employees who planned to get vaccinated were more likely to be older, male, more educated, Asian or white, up to date on other vaccinations, did not have direct patient contact and had been tested for COVID-19 in the past.

“To the best of our knowledge, this survey ... is the largest study conducted to assess intent to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in health care workers to date,” Kuter and colleagues wrote.

“Our results highlight prevalent concerns that can be addressed as well as beliefs that can be leveraged through educational initiatives about the safety, efficacy and value of COVID-19 vaccination.”

The researchers suggested that hospital employees share their personal COVID-19 vaccination stories with vaccine-hesitant co-workers to increase uptake.