Vaccine hesitancy remains a barrier to full population inoculation against highly infectious diseases. Coincident with the rapid developments of COVID-19 vaccines globally, concerns about the safety of such a vaccine could contribute to vaccine hesitancy. We analyzed 1941 anonymous questionnaires completed by healthcare workers and members of the general Israeli population, regarding acceptance of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Our results indicate that healthcare staff involved in the care of COVID-19 positive patients, and individuals considering themselves at risk of disease, were more likely to self-report acquiescence to COVID-19 vaccination if and when available. In contrast, parents, nurses, and medical workers not caring for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients expressed higher levels of vaccine hesitancy. Interventional educational campaigns targeted towards populations at risk of vaccine hesitancy are therefore urgently needed to combat misinformation and avoid low inoculation rates.
Keywords: COVID-19; Healthcare staff; Israel; SARS-CoV-2 vaccine; Vaccine hesitancy; Vaccine safety.