A Healthcare Personnel Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine Shot in the US Photo: USNews

Scores of healthcare workers decline COVID-19 vaccine in US: Report

*The refusal of several health personnel to take COVID-19 currently presents problems to the pandemic response by sending the wrong message to the American public while risking staff shortages if they become sick

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Despite the outgoing US President Donald Trump Administration’s failure to ramp up the vaccine rollout efforts and immunise tens of millions of Americans as earlier publicised, scores of healthcare workers are still declining to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

ConsumerConnect reports this mounting challenge, again, presents problems to the pandemic response by sending the wrong message to the public while risking staff shortages if workers become sick.

It’s all happening as a more contagious variant of the virus begins spreading in states in the US.

It was learnt the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last Friday warned that the new virus strain could be the dominant one hitting the United States by March 2021.

Although there is yet no national data showing the specific number of health workers who have declined to be vaccinated, governors, public health officials and healthcare executives have sounded the alarm on what appears to be a higher than expected refusal rate in the country, according to The Hill.

Report indicates that in New York State, more than 40 percent of health workers, who are first in line to get the shot because of their importance to the COVID-19 response, have yet to be vaccinated.

It’s not clear how many had actually declined the vaccine, versus not being offered it yet. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State said the percentage of workers who declined a vaccine in different regions of the state ranges from 12 percent to 29 percent,

“This is troubling to say the least,” Cuomo told reporters recently.

The CDC also warned the new fast-spreading strain of the fatal Coronavirus could be overwhelming already strained hospitals in the US.

As it is reportedly more contagious, it could also require more people to be vaccinated to achieve the necessary level of herd immunity.

The governor added: “The hospitals are saying ‘we’re running out of staff because the staff is getting sick.

“That’s why health care workers are the priority because if you vaccinate the health care workers, the health care workers don’t get sick, the hospitals stay open.

“If the hospital stays open, it helps everyone. If the hospitals close, it hurts everyone.”

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is off to a slow start in the country due in part to hesitancy among those in the first priority groups and poor management of the national vaccine rollout exercise.

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