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Vaccine hesitation ‘extremely’ low among healthcare workers says ARC East Midlands study

More than 90 per cent of frontline health and social care workers across the world are prepared to be annually vaccinated against COVID-19, international research by ARC East Midlands has revealed.

Vaccine hesitation amongst healthcare workers was low, with just seven per cent unwilling to be jabbed, according to the study conducted by University of Leicester researchers and undergraduate student Radika Chudasama.

Between April 12 and July 31, 2021, health and social care workers were encouraged to share their views on COVID-19 vaccinations by filling in an online survey. Participants from 37 countries took part in the survey, with primary care physicians, hospital doctors and nurses making up most of the participants. The study was published by the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews.

A total of 21 per cent of the participant healthcare workers had a chronic condition, such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma. 

According to the analysis, the healthcare workers believed the only solution to control COVID-19 infections was to offer people an annual vaccine booster. Vaccine willing respondents raised concerns of unequal access to the COVID-19 vaccination in some countries.

The researchers found that 93 per cent of the participants were willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, while only seven per cent of the healthcare workers that participated were concerned about being vaccinated. Those unwilling to be jabbed had concerns over safety or potential side effects.

The research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands.

Lead researcher and Epidemiologist, Dr Yogini Chudasama, of the University of Leicester, said: “Vaccine hesitancy is an ongoing major challenge that needs to be addressed around the world to help reduce rising infection rates of COVID-19.  

“However, it is great to see that most health and social care workers are prepared to get vaccinated as these results will hopefully increase the world’s overall vaccine uptake.”   

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of NIHR ARC East Midlands and the Centre for Ethnic Health Research, added: “The findings of this survey are reassuring showing that overall vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers is low globally. Further promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine will aid minimising rates of infections and severe outcomes. 

“COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most crucial ways of avoiding major disease burden and further long-term complications, such as Long COVID. Healthcare workers across the globe play a vital role in protecting and treating patients.”

To access the full research study, click here

Published on: 10 Jan 2022