A single state survey was conducted in the state of Indiana to determine the willingness of long-term care staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Staff characteristics including age, gender, race, ethnicity, role in the facility, experience in long-term care, and geographic location of the facility were self-reported along with prior infection and willingness to receive an approved vaccine as soon as it is available.
There were 8,243 responses to the survey. For nursing home staff there was a 33% response rate. There were 2,372 (29%) in nurse aide or similar roles and 1,602 nurses providing direct clinical care (19%). Overall, 45% of respondents indicated they would receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine as soon as available. Of those unwilling to take the vaccine when first available, 44% would consider it in the future. Concerns about side effects were the primary reason for vaccine hesitancy (70%).
The willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine immediately or in the future may be as high as 69%. Educating staff on the vaccine may be critical for increasing acceptance. Widespread vaccination holds the promise of protection against serious illness and death and a return of visitors and activities that support improved quality of life. So, there you have it! Educate, counsel, support, encourage, and lead by example! Get your vaccination as soon as you can, it can save lives! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!