Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in French hospitals.Infect Dis Now. 2021 Nov; 51(8):647-653.ID
COVID-19 vaccines have become the new hope for stemming the pandemic. We aimed to assess pre-launch vaccine acceptance among hospital workers in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Administrative Region of France.
We performed a cross sectional study involving all hospital workers in 11 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes hospitals in December 2020. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with vaccine hesitancy.
We analyzed completed questionnaires from 1,964 respondents (78% women, mean age 42 years, 21.5% physicians, 41% private care centers). A total of 1,048 (53%) hospital workers were in favor of COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine hesitancy was associated with: female gender; young age; paramedical, technical, and administrative professions (i.e., all non-medical professions); no prior flu vaccination; and employment in the private medical care sector (p<0.05). Distrust of health authorities and pharmaceutical lobbying were the main obstacles to vaccination. Inversely, creating herd immunity and protecting patients and household members were the most frequently cited reasons in favor of vaccination. More than two-thirds of participants feared that the clinical and biological research was too rapid and worried about serious adverse effects. Most participants were interested in written information on the available vaccines, but the most vaccine-hesitant categories preferred oral information. Only 35% supported mandatory vaccination.
Targeted written and oral information campaigns will be necessary to improve vaccination coverage among hospital workers who show a surprisingly high hesitancy rate. Imposing mandatory vaccination could be counterproductive.