FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is meeting resistance as many health care workers are refusing shots, the Associated Press reported Friday.
It is occurring in nursing homes and to some degree in hospitals, with employees expressing fears of side effects. Some facilities are seeing as much as 80 percent of the staff refusing the vaccine, despite studies upholding the safety of the vaccine and media reports of other health care workers rolling up their sleeves to get the shot.
"I don't think anyone wants to be a guinea pig," Stephen Noble, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon in Portland, Oregon, who is postponing getting vaccinated, told the AP. "At the end of the day, as a man of science, I just want to see what the data show. And give me the full data."
In Illinois, a big divide has occurred in state-run veterans homes between residents and staff. It was worse at the veterans home in Manteno, where 90 percent of residents but only 18 percent of the staff were vaccinated. In Ashland, Alabama, about 90 of some 200 workers at Clay County Hospital have yet to agree to get vaccinated, even though the hospital is overrun with COVID-19.
Stormy Tatom, a hospital intensive care unit nurse in Beaumont, Texas, told the AP she decided against getting vaccinated for now "because of the unknown long-term side effects. I would say at least half of my coworkers feel the same way." Nevertheless, side effects have been rare, and administrators and public health officials hope that more health care workers will get vaccinated as they see colleagues get the vaccine without problems, the AP reported.