80% of Spanish health professionals were willing to be vaccinated in the second wave of COVID-19

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya A second study is underway to determine the perception and willingness to get the vaccine among the general population and health professionals, now that the vaccination process is underway at full rate. Cliu: Artem Podrez_Pexels

About eight out of 10 health professionals in Spain are willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a study led by researchers from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Published in the open access journal Vaccines, the study assessed for the first time that this population segment was willing to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 and concluded that the uptake rate is higher. among physicians than among nursing workers. Reasons given by health professionals for not wanting to be vaccinated included fears about the safety of the vaccines and the possible side effects.

While vaccination is considered the most effective way to prevent and eradicate viral infections and stop their administration, a large percentage of the population is skeptical about the role of these protective drugs in immunity. . One of the consequences of this is a drop in the number of people vaccinated, leading to an outbreak of controlled or even eradicated diseases, such as measles. Indeed, the growth of the World Health Organization (WHO) anti-vaccine groups made the introduction of anti-vaccine protection one of the top 10 global threats in 2019.

Social media is one of the main channels for spreading false or unproven scientific information against vaccines, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Telegram and Twitter. Despite this, the researchers, led by Hans Eguia, a doctoral student enrolled on the UOC doctoral program in Health and Psychology, recruited 1,002 volunteers from Twitter between September 10 and November 23, 2020, most of them health care workers, and asked them to complete a questionnaire asking if they would accept the vaccine or why and why not.

Of the 731 people who were Spanish, 164 responded that they would not get the vaccine. Of these, 17.5% were physicians, 35% were nursing staff and 31.5% were other health care professionals. Among the main reasons given for not being vaccinated, they mentioned concerns about lack of efficacy, lack of safety and possible side effects.

“It’s amazing that the vaccines have been developed in less than a year. This has never happened before and may be a source of suspicion, even among some health professionals,” explained Francesc Saigí, professor of Health Sciences at the UOC and a researcher at research group I2TIC, who led the study.

“However, we can be sure that all approved vaccines are safe. The fact that they were developed in such a short time is due to the fact that they have acquired a lot of resources. The criteria applied by the regulatory bodies in the very strict licensing of medicines, “he said.

The results were obtained when the second wave was just beginning in Spain and phase III clinical trials of the vaccines have not yet been completed. “There was no data and this may explain why some health professionals would prefer to wait for more information to become available. Perhaps if we did the survey again today, the results would be different, “suggested Marina Bosque, a researcher at the GRESP research group (University of Manresa, UOC).

The paper’s authors believe that the fact that twice as many nursing staff were unwilling to vaccinate staff is worrying, because “they are the people closest to the patients and, therefore, more likely to be affected. take their view, as is already the case in flu vaccination campaigns, “Saigí observed.

Although the study was conducted with a small sample before the start of vaccination, the authors believe that the results are a warning bell that indicates the need for more interventions to communicate with the general public and with health professionals in particular to develop. Previous studies have shown that when people are skeptical about vaccines, giving them clear, powerful messages reduces confidence and tends to disappear. A second study is underway to confirm the opinion and willingness of the vaccine among the general population and health professionals, now that the vaccination process is under full control.

“By understanding the reasons why people do not want to be vaccinated, especially health workers, it will be possible to design communication and education strategies and even use social media to resolve doubts, level promote vaccination and, ultimately, the immunity of the herd you want to achieve victory, “the authors concluded.

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Further information:
Hans Eguia et al. Spanish Support at COVID-19 Vaccine Gates, Vaccines (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / vaccines9020170

Presented by Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Citation: 80% of Spanish health professionals were willing to get the vaccine during the second wave of COVID-19 (2021, March 19) on March 19, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-03-spanish -health-professionals- vaccine-covid-.html

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