A Comparison of the Level of Acceptance and Hesitancy towards the Influenza Vaccine and the Forthcoming COVID-19 Vaccine in the Medical Community

Vaccines (Basel). 2021 May 8;9(5):475. doi: 10.3390/vaccines9050475.


Despite research conducted worldwide, there is no treatment specifically targeting SARS-CoV-2 infection with efficacy proven by randomized controlled trials. A chance for a breakthrough is vaccinating most of the global population. Public opinion surveys on vaccine hesitancy prompted our team to investigate Polish healthcare workers' (HCWs) attitudes towards the SARS-CoV-2 and influenza vaccinations. In-person and online surveys of HCWs: doctors, nurses, medical students, and other allied health professionals (n = 419) were conducted between 14 September 2020 and 5 November 2020. In our study, 68.7% of respondents would like to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations would persuade 86.3% of hesitant and those who would refuse to be vaccinated. 3.1% of all respondents claimed that no argument would convince them to get vaccinated. 61.6% of respondents declared a willingness to receive an influenza vaccination, of which 83.3% were also inclined to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Although most respondents-62.5% (262/419) indicated they trusted in the influenza vaccine more, more respondents intended to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the 2020/2021 season. The study is limited by its nonrandom sample of HCWs but provides a preliminary description of attitudes towards SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; flu vaccine; healthcare workers; influenza; vaccine; vaccine hesitancy.