Objective: To assess reasons for noncompliance with COVID-19 vaccination among healthcare workers (HCWs).

Design: Cohort observational and surveillance study.

Setting: Sheba Medical Center, a 1,600-bed tertiary-care medical center in Israel.

Participants: The study included 10,888 HCWs including all employees, students, and volunteers.

Intervention: The BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was offered to all HCWs of the hospital. Noncompliance was assessed, and pre-rollout and post-rollout surveys were conducted. Data regarding uptake of the vaccine as well as demographic data and compliance with prior influenza vaccination were collected, and 2 surveys were distributed. The survey before the rollout pertained to the intention to receive the vaccine, and the survey after the rollout pertained to all unvaccinated HCWs regarding causes of hesitancy.

Results: In the pre-rollout survey, 1,673 (47%) of 3,563 HCWs declared their intent to receive the vaccine. Overall, 8,108 (79%) HCWs received the COVID-19 vaccine within 40 days of rollout. In a multivariate logistic regression model, the factors that were significant predictors of vaccine uptake were male sex, age 40-59 years, occupation (paramedical professionals and doctors), high socioeconomic level, and compliance with flu vaccine. Among 425 unvaccinated HCWs who answered the second survey, the most common cause for hesitancy was the risk during pregnancy (31%).

Conclusions: Although vaccine uptake among HCWs was higher than expected, relatively low uptake was observed among young women and those from lower socioeconomic levels and educational backgrounds. Concerns regarding vaccine safety during pregnancy were common and more data about vaccine safety, especially during pregnancy, might improve compliance.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol
Gilboa M, Tal I, Levin EG, Segal S, Belkin A, Zilberman-Daniels T, Biber A, Rubin C, Rahav G, Regev-Yochay G.
doi: 10.1017/ice.2021.421