COVID-19 vaccination significantly reduces morbidity and absenteeism among healthcare personnel: A prospective multicenter study

Vaccine. 2021 Nov 26;39(48):7021-7027. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.10.054. Epub 2021 Oct 30.


Aim: Healthcare personnel (HCP) are prioritized for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination to protect them and non-disruptive provision of healthcare services. We assessed the impact of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on morbidity and absenteeism among HCP.

Methods: We studied 7445 HCP in five tertiary-care hospitals in Greece from November 15, 2020 through April 18, 2021.

Results: A total of 910 episodes of absenteeism and 9695 days of absence were recorded during the entire study period. Starting from January 4, 2021, 4823/7445 HCP (64.8%) were fully or partially vaccinated. Overall, 535 episodes of absenteeism occurred from January 4, 2021 through April 18, 2021, including 309 (57.76%) episodes among 2622 unvaccinated HCP and 226 (42.24%) episodes among 4823 vaccinated HCP (11.8 versus 4.7 episodes of absenteeism per 100 HCP, respectively; p-value < 0.001). The mean duration of absenteeism was 11.9 days among unvaccinated HCP compared with 6.9 days among vaccinated HCP (p-value < 0.001). Unvaccinated HCP more frequently developed acute respiratory infection, influenza-like illness, and COVID-19 (p-values < 0.001 for all comparisons). Vaccine effectiveness for fully vaccinated HCP was estimated at 94.16% [confidence interval (CI): 88.50%-98.05%) against COVID-19, 83.62% (CI: 73.36%-90.38%) against SARS-CoV-2 infection (asymptomatic or COVID-19), and 66.42% (CI: 56.86%-74.15%) against absenteeism.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic had a considerable impact on healthcare workforce. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine significantly reduced morbidity, COVID-19, absenteeism and duration of absenteeism among HCP during a period of high SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the community. It is expected that HCP vaccination will protect them and healthcare services and contain healthcare costs.

Keywords: Absenteeism; COVID-19; Healthcare personnel; Morbidity; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Pandemics
  • Prospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines