COVID-19 vaccine yet to find acceptance among a section of healthcare workers
Though it has been 10 days since the vaccination drive against COVID-19 began, the vaccine, it appears, is yet to find acceptance among among a large section of healthcare workers.
Doctors and hospital managements say that a significant section of healthcare workers are not coming forward to take the jab despite hospitals initiating several confidence-building measures.
Prasanna H.M., president, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said that only around 40% of the healthcare workers in private hospitals were willing to take the jab. “All heads of hospitals and senior doctors took the vaccine, and hoped that it would motivate more people to come forward. But families of healthcare professionals are advising them to adopt a wait-and-watch approach,” he said.
He added that while glitches in the CO-WIN app have been resolved, the hurdle in improving vaccine coverage was due to reluctance of healthcare workers to take the jab. While some of them were not convinced of the use of the vaccine, many others were anxious about adverse events following vaccination and, hence, did not want to take the vaccine at this point.
While healthcare workers are more confident of Covishield, those who have to take Covaxin are slightly more reluctant, doctors state.
Ajit Benedict Royan, medical director, HOSMAT Hospital, said that around 60% of their staff had taken the vaccine. Although this percentage was higher than the national average, many of their staff were apprehensive and had adopted a wait-and-watch approach. “We are hoping that the staff, who have not taken the vaccine, are motivated after seeing that those who took the vaccine did not face any side-effects or adverse reactions,” he said.
Vikram Sreeram, managing director of Mallige Hospital, said that over 60% of their staff were vaccinated. “Our top management and senior doctors have taken the vaccine to set an example, but many, including young doctors, have unfounded fears. But it is a completely voluntary exercise and we do not want to pressurise anyone to take the jab,” he said.