COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Attitude toward Booster Doses among US Healthcare Workers

Vaccines (Basel). 2021 Nov 19;9(11):1358. doi: 10.3390/vaccines9111358.


Vaccine reluctance among healthcare workers (HCW) can have widespread negative ramifications, including modeling behavior for the general population and challenges with maintaining a healthy workforce so we can respond to a resurgence of the pandemic. We previously reported that only one-third of HCW were willing to take the vaccine as soon as it became available prior to its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Here, we re-examine the attitude toward COVID-19 vaccines among HCW several months after the vaccines have been made widely available. In this study, only 7.9% (n = 107) of respondents were hesitant to take the first or second dose of the vaccine. Younger age (18-40 years) and lower level of education attainment (GED or less) were associated with higher vaccine hesitancy, whereas self-identified Asian racial identity was associated with greater acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination. Among the vaccine-hesitant group, more respondents noted mistrust of regulatory authorities (45.3%), government (48.6%), and pharmaceutical companies (50%) than mistrust of doctors (25.4%). Nearly two-thirds of respondents were concerned that vaccination may be ineffective against new strains and booster doses may be required; however, vaccine-hesitant respondents' acceptance of a hypothetical booster dose was only 14.3%. Overall, vaccine hesitancy was observed to have demographic predictors similar to those previously reported; the hesitancy of some US HCW to receive booster doses may reflect a general hesitancy to receive other forms of vaccination.

Keywords: COVID-19; United States; booster; healthcare workers; vaccine.