The long-term care industry was among the first out of many to receive COVID-19 vaccines in December of last year. While some staff members were eager to receive the vaccination, others hesitated. OnShift, a software firm, conducted a survey of post-acute and senior living workers to assess their willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey conducted at the end of 2020 found 32% of individuals wanted the vaccine. That sentiment has increased to 62% on a more recently conducted poll. This is a 94% increase of staff now willing to get vaccinated.
In December, 39% of the workers surveyed claimed they did not want to receive the vaccine at all. However, in March that percentage decreased to 23%. As of March of this year, it is reported that 53% of workers have already been vaccinated. Out of those that have not received the vaccinations, 23% have concerns related to safety and side effects and 26% consider the vaccine to be “too new”.
Out of those who chose to receive the vaccine, 30% agreed it was to protect their loved ones, while 13% said it was for their own self-protection. Out of those who are still hesitant, 28% said additional information about safety and side effects would help them in making a decision in favor of receiving the vaccine.
However, the overall increase in vaccinations among nursing home workers has industry leaders excited. Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of American Health Care Association, stated the vaccination efforts need to continue in long-term care settings on an ongoing basis for new employees and for existing residents and staff who now want to receive the vaccination. Additionally Dr. Sunil Pandya, chief medical director for SavaSeniorCare, expressed that “peer-to-peer discussions” among workers will also help relieve some of the concerns non-vaccinated staff have.