Many frontline workers refuse Covid vaccines as distribution rollout struggles

A large percentage of frontline workers in hospitals and nursing homes have refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine, a hurdle for public health officials as the country struggles to roll out vaccinations across the country .

About 50% of frontline workers in Riverside County, California have refused to be vaccinated, Riverside public health director Kim Saruwatari told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. California is currently overwhelmed with cases as hospital staff in Southern California face a shortage of intensive care units and set up makeshift units.

The development and distribution of vaccines has been the target of persistent conspiracy theories and misinformation on social media, although it is not known what impact this anti-vaccination movement has had on overall public confidence in the process. .

About 2 in 10 Americans are sure they won’t change their mind about refusing the vaccine, according to data from the Pew Research Center. And 62 percent said they wouldn’t be comfortable being among the first to receive the vaccine.

Anecdotally, about 60% of Ohio nursing home workers have already refused the vaccine, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said at a press briefing Wednesday. This is in stark contrast to the number of nursing home residents who took the vaccine when it was offered, which DeWine assumed to be around 85%.

“We’re not going to manufacture them, but we want better compliance,” DeWine said. “And our message today is: The train may not be back for a while. We will eventually make it available to everyone, but this is the opportunity for you, and you should really think about getting it.

The deployment of the vaccine has already encountered several logistical obstacles, as only 2.6 million people were vaccinated on Wednesday. An NBC News review of earlier data on Tuesday found that at the current rate, it would take nearly 10 years to vaccinate enough Americans to bring the pandemic under control.

It is unclear how the refusal of essential workers, who have priority to receive the vaccine in the first phase of administration, could further hamper distribution efforts.

A survey of 2,053 New York City firefighters found more than half said they would refuse the Covid-19 vaccine when it was available to them, according to a survey released by the Uniformed Firefighters Association this month -this.

Some of these firefighters may straddle those who have already contracted the coronavirus and don’t think they need to be vaccinated, said Andy Ansbro, the union president.

“As a union, we encourage our members to get vaccinated, but we defend their right to make that choice,” Ansbro said. “Personally, I think this vaccine is safe, I have done my own research, I will get the vaccine and I will encourage other members to do so. Ultimately, it is their own personal choice.

Ansboro was among many essential workers who received the vaccine, according to a photo released by UFA on Tuesday. The FDNY reported that 1,000 members were vaccinated on Tuesday.

A number of politicians, public health officials and frontline workers have taken the vaccine publicly to assert their confidence in vaccines, including infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, President-elect Joe Biden and the Vice President Mike Pence.

Intensive care unit nurse Sandra Linsdsay was among the first in the country to receive the vaccine, telling reporters she felt “relieved” afterward.

“I feel the healing is coming,” Linsdsay said. “I hope this marks the beginning of the end of this very painful period in our history.”