COVID Vaccine Hesitancy in Frontline Nursing Home Staff

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By GeriPal, Alex Smith, and Eric Widera. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

COVID has taken a devastated toll in nursing homes. Despite representing fewer than 5% of the total US events, at least 40% of COVID‐19–related deaths occurred in older individuals living in nursing homes. The good news is that with the introduction of COVID vaccines in nursing homes, numbers of infections and outbreaks have plummeted. However, only about 2/3rds of nursing home patients and only about ½ of nursing home staff have been vaccinated, largely due to hesitancy about taking the vaccine.

On today's podcast we talk about vaccine hesitancy with Sarah Berry, Kimberly Johnson, and David Gifford and the lessons learned from their “town hall” intervention they did that was just published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

A couple of take-home messages for me in this study was that vaccine misinformation was rampant, many nursing staff had lingering questions they wanted answered before getting the shot, and that sharing stories and personal experiences is an important way to overcome hesitancy.

In addition to listening to the podcast, we really encourage everyone to take a look at the JAGS article as it has two great tables for anyone willing to do similar town halls. The first is a summary of the concerns of healthcare staff. The second is sample responses to address some of these concerns.

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