COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among health care workers, communication, and policy-making


Advocate Children's Hospital's Heart Institute


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine hesitancy in healthcare workers (HCWs) contributes to personal and patient risk in contracting COVID-19. Reasons behind hesitancy and how best to improve vaccination rates in HCWs are not clear.

Methods: We adapted a survey using the Health Belief Model framework to evaluate HCW vaccine hesitancy and reasons for choosing for or against COVID-19 vaccination. The survey was sent to three large academic medical centers in the Chicagoland area between March and May 2021.

Results: We received 1974 completed responses with 85% of HCWs receiving or anticipating receiving COVID-19 vaccination. Multivariable logistic regression found HCWs were less likely to receive COVID-19 vaccination if they were Black (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.15-0.80), Republican (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.31-0.91), or allergic to any vaccine component (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.10-0.70) and more likely to receive if they believed people close to them thought it was important for them to receive the vaccine (OR 5.2, 95% CI 3-8).

Conclusions: A sizable number of HCWs remain vaccine hesitant one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. As HCWs are positively influenced by colleagues who believe COVID-19 vaccination, development of improved communication across HCW departments and roles may improve vaccination rates.



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