The Covid-19 vaccine is ready and available to healthcare workers across the country, but many are refusing to take the vaccine. In L.A. County, according to public health officials, up to 40% of frontline workers offered the vaccine refused it. In Riverside, public health estimated 50% of frontline workers refused the vaccine. Healthcare workers across the country are showing their skepticism by refusing to take the available vaccines. Hospitals and nursing homes across the country are struggling to convince their employees to take the vaccine. How do hospitals and healthcare facilities convince employees of the importance of the vaccine?
One would assume that healthcare workers would be more likely to take the vaccine, due to being exposed to Covid positive patients and seeing the suffering, and their knowledge of scientific data regarding vaccines. There is scientific evidence that supports the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, with tens of thousands participating in the trials. However, there is still significant skepticism across the country from many people, not just healthcare workers. Health professionals typically advocate for vaccines, such as seasonal flu, shingles, and childhood inoculations against measles, mumps, and rubella. Since medical professionals are the most trusted source of health information, it is crucial to the vaccine program that there is buy-in from these healthcare workers so they can convince their patients to receive the vaccine.
Much of this skepticism has occurred because of the politicism behind the virus and the vaccine. The fear comes from the speed with which the vaccine came to production and approval and a fear that it may have been politically motivated and approved without meeting all requirements. Many doctors questioned the safety of the data because they were awaiting the publishing of full trial results, not just media release information. Since Pfizer released the full trial results mid-December, and Moderna at the end of December, that data is now available and could make all the difference in convincing medical professionals to take the vaccine.
Medical facilities will have to counter fear and skepticism by providing their healthcare workers with the data from the vaccine trials. They should draw the information out of the published trial results that will assure their medical professionals that the necessary steps were taken within the trial and that the results are authentic and documented. Providing the facts and trial results will be the fastest way to ensure that top medical professionals gain confidence in the vaccine. Once they have done so, the rest of the healthcare professionals will follow, and eventually their patients.
Many facilities are using incentives to convince their staff to take the vaccine, from cash to extra time off and gift cards. Some facilities are even threatening their staff with termination or suspension until they take the vaccine. With the dire need for healthcare professionals, this method is not recommended. Instead, understanding and addressing their concerns is the most effective way to ensure compliance. Facilities should hold staff meetings to address specific concerns, using the recently published data to allay their fears. They can utilize educational videos and materials that outline the data in comparison to data from vaccines in which they already show confidence. Health care professionals are not typically anti-vaccine, they just need to gain confidence in the production and approval process of this vaccine, so identifying that data is crucial to allaying their concerns.
To convince your employees to accept the vaccine, facilities will need to convince them of the processes, procedures, and authenticity of the data. Once that confidence is achieved, they will have the advocates they need to convince their patients. Genesis Medical Management provides innovative, personalized healthcare solutions.
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