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Some healthcare workers refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine

They are front-line workers and the first priority is to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but they refuse to take it.

At St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Tehama County, less than half of the 700 hospital staff who are eligible to receive the vaccine are willing to vaccinate. At the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors refused to shoot. According to county public health officials, approximately 20% to 40% of frontline workers in Los Angeles County who provide vaccines did the same.

Public health director Kim Saruwatari said that many frontline workers in Riverside County rejected the vaccine (estimated 50%), and hospitals and public officials met to discuss how to best allocate unused doses. To develop strategies.

Vaccine doubts have soared among medical staff across the country, which surprised researchers. They believed that hospital staff would be one of the most supportive of vaccine scientific data.

After trials involving thousands of participants (including the elderly and people with chronic diseases), the scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is clear. It is recommended that everyone use these lenses except those who have severe allergic reactions to those ingredients.

Nevertheless, doubts still exist.

April Lu, a 31

-year-old nurse at the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, said she refused to take the vaccine because she did not believe that the vaccine was safe for pregnant women. She is six months pregnant.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, clinical trials have not been conducted on pregnant women using the vaccine, but experts believe that the vaccine is unlikely to pose a specific risk. The agency said that pregnant women may choose to be vaccinated.

“I am choosing the risk-the risk of contracting COVID, or the risk of an unknown vaccine. I think I am choosing the risk of COVID. I can control and prevent it a little by wearing a mask, although it is not 100% sure,” Lu said.

She said that some of her colleagues also refused to receive the vaccine because they had not contracted the virus for several months and believed that they were likely to survive. She said: “I think people think,’I can still do this without getting vaccinated.”

The extent to which medical staff rejected the vaccine is unclear, but reports of lower-than-expected participation rates across the country are drawing the attention of epidemiologists who say the impact on public health may be catastrophic.

A recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 29% of health care workers are “hesitant,” which is slightly higher than the 27% of the total population.

Dr. Medell Briggs-Malonson, an emergency medicine physician at UCLA Health, said: “Even the operation called Warp Speed ​​has attracted attention because people are eager to push it forward.” She still urges her colleagues to do the same.

Sal Rosselli, president of the National Federation of Medical Workers, said: “This is certainly disappointing.” “But given what the federal government has done in the past 10 months, it is not shocking. …Trust science. It’s about science, reality, and the right things.”

The results can be dire: if too few people get vaccinated, the pandemic will spread indefinitely, leading to future surges, excessive strain on the healthcare system, and continued economic consequences.

Harvard University epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch said: “We as a society can restore a higher level of functioning depends on whether as many people as possible are protected.”

Respondents to the Kaiser Family Foundation survey said they might not get the vaccine and they worry about side effects. They lack trust in governments that ensure vaccine safety; they worry about the role of politics in vaccine development; otherwise they think the danger of COVID-19 is exaggerated.

On online forums, some medical staff across the country expressed frustration with the advancement-some were related to the experiment.

Nicholas Ruiz, an office assistant at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California, said that medical staff, like the public, are full of suspicion, fear and misunderstanding about the disease. Although he interacted with nurses treating COVID-19 patients, he did not take the drug and knew many others who did not receive this treatment.

“I think the medical staff’s view of the public is incorrect. They might think that we all know all of this. They might think that because we work in this environment,” Ruiz said. “But I know that many people have the same mentality as the public, and they are still afraid of getting the public.”

In Fresno County, Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said on Tuesday that some “people who are eligible for the vaccine are not ready to get the vaccine.” Due to questions about the long-term effects, these health workers, including those who are pregnant Or medical workers who want to get pregnant have been hesitant.

In order to persuade the reluctant staff, many hospitals are using instructional videos and interactive webinars to show employees the status of vaccination. At a hospital in Orange County, Anthony Wilkinson, an intensive care nurse who takes care of coronavirus patients, said his colleagues “have lost faith in large pharmaceutical companies and even CDC.”

Wilkinson took a video about the science behind the vaccine on Facebook and kept updating his friends and family after receiving news from relatives. People are afraid of me. I can understand why. It is new and no one wants to be the first. “He said.

The first batch of vaccines produced by Pfizer and BioNTech arrived in Tehama County, which has 65,000 people, last week.

Tehama County Health Officer Dr. Richard Wickenheiser said that St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff initially provided 495 doses to medical staff, but the hospital “basically returned 200 doses to us.”

Wickenheiser said: “They returned those vaccines to us, and we soon began to eliminate them and use it.” “While we wait for people to make up their minds, I don’t want to be accused of putting them in the refrigerator.”

Spokeswoman Zoe Harris said that at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, about 10% of nursing staff chose the vaccine.

As of Tuesday, the health department of the University of California, Los Angeles has vaccinated more than 37,000 people with 7,300 people, although since the hospital did not release this information, it is not clear how many people have received the vaccine. Officials admitted, “Our employees may be hesitant.”

“We did not require personnel to immediately decide whether to receive the vaccine. The hospital said in a statement: “We hope to give those who provide vaccines enough time to make a decision. We hope that the staff will continue to understand that the benefits of vaccination clearly outweigh the risks. “

The uncertainty is shared by people inside the nursing home, which accounts for approximately 35% of the more than 25,000 COVID-19 deaths in California.

However, nursing home managers and employees interviewed by The Times said that about a quarter of employees said they did not want to receive the vaccine.

A licensed professional nurse in a nursing home in Los Angeles said: “They are afraid of side effects, they don’t know what will happen, or whether it will really protect them.” She asked not to use her name because she has no right to speak to the media. “It has become so politicized.”

She did not want to vaccinate herself until the 95-bed hospital where she worked had been virus-free for several months, and the agency had spread the virus rapidly, and this hospital had been virus-free for several months. She said: “In just three days, we have 16 new cases.” “It’s so fast, we don’t even know how it happened.”

“Unwilling? Undoubtedly, many people are unwilling there. Representatives of long-term care medicine, representing doctors, nurses and others who work in nursing homes.

He said: “Because this launch does not have the transparency or clarity of the federal government, states and counties often don’t know what is happening until the last minute.” “This makes the vaccine more resistant.”

It is not clear what will happen when the hospital ends the additional dose. If front-line workers have already received vaccines, national guidelines allow hospitals to provide vaccines to low-priority populations.

In Tehama County, unused doses in hospitals will be distributed to the next group of eligible people: assisted living and skilled nursing facility staff and residents.

At the same time, the county health department is receiving daily calls about visits, Tehama County Health Officer Wickenheiser said, adding: “The public is asking every day:’When will we get it?’”

Time magazine staff Laura Newberry and Jaclyn Cosgrove and news photojournalist Francine Orr contributed to this report.

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