Frontline Workers Refuse To Take COVID-19 Vaccine, Cite 'Political' Reasons
Skepticism that the vaccine would work without side effects
A large percentage of front line health care workers said they would refuse the coronavirus vaccine, citing the politics behind the timeline of the vaccine’s creation.
Healthcare workers in California, New York City, Ohio, and Texas are refusing to take the vaccine in high numbers.
Many are worried the vaccine would have side effects due to how quickly it was developed and approved.
“Earlier this week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine disclosed that about 60 percent of the nursing home workers in his state have so far chosen not to get vaccinated,” the New York Post reported.
“More than half of New York City’s EMS workers have shown skepticism, The Post reported last month.”
Surveys of health care workers in California, show reluctance to take the vaccine.
Around 50% of workers at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Tehama County have refused to take the vaccine, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Later, around 20% of workers at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills also refused the vaccine.
“Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials,” the Times reported.
“So many frontline workers in Riverside County have refused the vaccine — an estimated 50% — that hospital and public officials met to strategize how best to distribute the unused doses," Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari said.
One hospital worker at Providence Holy Cross revealed she wouldn't take the vaccine because she’s six months pregnant and was unsure how it would affect her.
Meanwhile, other workers refused the vaccine because they haven't caught coronavirus despite being on the front lines and feel they could survive it.
“I feel people think, ‘I can still make it until this ends without getting the vaccine,’” she told the Times.
A Texas doctor at Houston Memorial Medical Center told NPR that at least half the hospital nurses were refusing the vaccine.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found 29% of health care workers were at least hesitant to take the COVID vaccine:
“Even the name, Operation Warp Speed, draws some concern for people about the rush to push it through,” said Dr. Medell Briggs-Malonson, an emergency medicine physician at UCLA Health who has received the vaccine.
“It’s certainly disappointing,” said Sal Rosselli, the president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.
“But it’s not shocking, given what the federal administration has done over the past 10 months. … Trust science. It’s about science and reality, and what’s right.”
“Our ability as a society to get back to a higher level of functioning depends on having as many people protected as possible,” said Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch.