LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — They’ve seen first-hand the horrors of the pandemic.
Still, some health care workers aren’t lining up to be vaccinated.
An estimated 29% of all health care workers are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My message for health care workers is please do get vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony Fauci says in a public service announcement.
Another barrier is mistrust of government and medicine among some minorities, who make up about 40% of U.S. health care workers. That mistrust stems in part from our country’s history of dishonest medical experiments on people of color.
“When it comes to vaccines, we were guinea pigs,” said Jennifer Stephenson, an administrator at Loretto Hopital in Chicago. Stephenson did get her second dose this week.
“What was effective for me was not only someone sitting down and talking to me, but actually seeing leadership stepping up and taking the vaccine,” she said.
The hospital added a paid day off as a reward.
Institutions across the country are coming up with creative ways to convince staff members to take the shot. Houston Methodist offers a $500 cash incentive. An Atlanta nursing home chain raffles off bonuses, vacation days and free TVs.
Experts say more public health education is critical to combat vaccine hesitancy, both in health care workers and the general population.