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Vaccine uptake among front-line health care workers is rising, according to a survey by the American Nurses Association.
“We have certainly seen a transition where more nurses are … stating that they have been vaccinated or that they intend to get vaccinated,” said Kendra McMillan, a senior policy advisor for nursing practice and work environment at the Silver Spring, Maryland-based association.
The association’s most recent COVID-19 survey of 22,316 nurses found that 30% have not been vaccinated but that 34% of those who haven’t are planning to do so — a number Ms. McMillian expects to grow, as 25% are undecided.
“We are seeing the data move in the right direction … (but) we do still have those individuals who are in that wait and see category,” she said.
“(We are) working to correct what may be incorrect in the information people are seeing” about the vaccine, she said, adding that education and outreach have been key.
“There’s a lot of power in hearing about someone’s experience and we have to talk about it. … As people see more people get vaccinated, it is friends and family, I think, that influences their decision.”
Most employers “are figuring out what the barrier is” for people who have declined to be vaccinated, said Fern Fleischer-Daves, of counsel with the Washington office of Conn Maciel Carey LLP. “For some people, it is misinformation. … (Employers) are combating misinformation, so employers are bringing in the health department to talk to them.”
Employers hoping that widespread COVID-19 vaccinations could enhance their workplace safety protocols are treading lightly when it comes to requiring the shots for their employees.