Link to DOI – https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100289
Heyerdahl, Leonardo W., et al. "Doubt at the core: Unspoken vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers." The Lancet Regional Health–Europe 12 (2022).
Healthcare workers are a priority target population in current COVID-19 vaccination strategies because of their increased workplace exposure and contacts with potentially at-risk patients. In some European countries such as Belgium, Greece, and France, COVID-19 vaccination is now required for this group. However, studies show that a varying but often substantial proportion of healthcare workers are hesitant about receiving these vaccinations.
This is extremely relevant for vaccination campaigns, as healthcare workers are among the most trusted sources of vaccine information and have a direct influence on the vaccination decisions of their patients and social contacts.
Furthermore, insufficient vaccination uptake risks increasing COVID-19 infections, most likely leading to more hospitalizations and less available health staff, increasing the workload in hospitals, and thus reducing health system capacities to adequately respond to the epidemic. Health professionals often do not voice their vaccine-related concerns, particularly to colleagues, due to the institutional and societal pressures to vaccinate. We may frame this phenomenon as unspoken vaccine hesitancy.