COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and attitude toward booster doses among US healthcare workers

Suman Pal, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Rahul Shekhar, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Saket Kottewar, University of Texas Health San Antonio
Shubhra Upadhyay, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Mriganka Singh, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dola Pathak, Michigan State University
Devika Kapuria, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Eileen Barrett, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Abu Baker Sheikh, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center


Vaccine reluctance among healthcare workers (HCW) can have widespread negative ramifications, including modeling behavior for the general population and challenges with maintaining a healthy workforce so we can respond to a resurgence of the pandemic. We previously reported that only one-third of HCW were willing to take the vaccine as soon as it became available prior to its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Here, we re-examine the attitude toward COVID-19 vaccines among HCW several months after the vaccines have been made widely available. In this study, only 7.9% (n = 107) of respondents were hesitant to take the first or second dose of the vaccine. Younger age (18-40 years) and lower level of education attainment (GED or less) were associated with higher vaccine hesitancy, whereas self-identified Asian racial identity was associated with greater acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination. Among the vaccine-hesitant group, more respondents noted mistrust of regulatory authorities (45.3%), government (48.6%), and pharmaceutical companies (50%) than mistrust of doctors (25.4%). Nearly two-thirds of respondents were concerned that vaccination may be ineffective against new strains and booster doses may be required; however, vaccine-hesitant respondents' acceptance of a hypothetical booster dose was only 14.3%. Overall, vaccine hesitancy was observed to have demographic predictors similar to those previously reported; the hesitancy of some US HCW to receive booster doses may reflect a general hesitancy to receive other forms of vaccination.