Tuesday 11 May 2021

One third of healthcare worker union members won’t get Covid vaccine

Photo: Depositphotos.com

One third of the members of nursing union Nu’91 say they will not accept being vaccinated against coronavirus, according to a new poll.

In total, 3,300 out of 30,000 union members took part in the survey, which highlights the different attitudes to the vaccine across the medical sector. Just over a third (36%), said they would agree to be vaccinated and the rest were not sure.

The government plans to offer the vaccine first to healthcare workers, the elderly and people with vulnerable health conditions.

Asked why they would not accept being vaccinated, nurses said they are concerned about the long-term side effects, the speed at which the vaccine was developed and the lack of expert information.

‘Healthcare professionals require neutral, good information so that they can take a well-informed decision,’ union chairwoman Stella Salden said. ‘This can only be done by making the information available in the appropriate way… listening to professionals is crucial. At the moment, they have a lot of questions and that means there is insufficient confidence in the vaccine.’

The poll did show wide variations within the sector. Some 44% of hospital workers said they would accept a vaccine, compared with 35% of nurses who work with the disabled and just 25% of nursing home staff. Younger healthcare workers are also less likely to accept being vaccinated than the over 45s.

The population of the Netherlands is also divided on the issue. A report published by I&O Research last month found 60% of the Dutch will consider having the vaccination but less than a third would definitely do so. Some 23% would definitely or almost definitely not agree.

Experts say a vaccination rate of at least 60% is necessary to protect the population in general.

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