February 10, 2021 10:02 AM Eastern Standard Time
ARLINGTON, Va. Feb 10, 2021 – An encouraging new survey finds that 85% of infection preventionists (IPs) surveyed who have been offered the COVID-19 vaccine have received it; another 2% have an appointment to take it soon, and 5% say they will get the vaccine at a later time.
The survey which was conducted January 20-25, 2021 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), asked APIC’s 11,077 U.S.-based IP members about their intention to receive the vaccine and probed their views on why other healthcare professionals may be hesitant to receive it. Of the survey’s 1,598 respondents, 94% (1,497) have been offered the vaccine.
“Clearly the nation’s infection preventionists believe in the safety, effectiveness, and necessity of COVID-19 vaccines,” said 2021 APIC President Ann Marie Pettis, RN, BSN, CIC, FAPIC. “As experts in infection prevention, IPs are in a unique position to influence and encourage vaccine uptake among other healthcare professionals and the public. If we think the vaccines are safe, we believe others should feel assured.”
The survey asked IPs about the reasons why other healthcare personnel may be hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The top reasons cited included concerns about speed-to-market (72%), serious adverse events (60%), use of new technology (50%), and benefit of the vaccine since masking is still required (31%). A quarter (24%) reported that there was a lack of concern among other healthcare workers about getting ill from COVID-19.
APIC is concerned about reports of healthcare personnel declining COVID-19 vaccines and strongly supports vaccination to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease. As the general public awaits their turn for the vaccine, APIC advises people to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing and frequent hand hygiene, especially with the more infectious SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the U.S.
“We are all weary of this pandemic,” continued Pettis. “But there is now light at the end of the tunnel if we all get vaccinated when it’s our turn and continue to take the recommended precautions until we have more science about how and if this virus is spread after vaccination. We urge the healthcare community and the public to follow the lead of IPs and get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available and offered.”
IPs are healthcare professionals who develop, share, and evaluate evidence-based practices to prevent the spread of infection, including vaccination, protocols for hand hygiene, and the proper use of PPE. They work in all types of care settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care, and ambulatory surgery centers.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is creating a safer world through the prevention of infection. APIC’s nearly 16,000 members develop and direct infection prevention and control programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for healthcare facilities. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, education, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy, and data standardization. Visit us at apic.org.
Liz Garman, 202-454-2604
Nicole Chardavoyne, 202-860-4074