Fri, 03/09/2021 | News

COVID-19 vaccination perceptions among health and aged care workers in New South Wales, Australia

Access to reliable, evidence-based information, especially from trusted medical professionals and colleagues, can positively influence COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in health and aged care workers, a new study from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has found.

Strong recommendations from healthcare workers play an important role in public acceptance of vaccination. This qualitative study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, aimed to understand the factors influencing health and aged care workers’ own acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines. The research was conducted by the NCIRS social science team in January and February 2021 before the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia and found that overall most participants in the study were accepting of COVID-19 vaccination, with some expressing hesitancy. 

Study participants reported that the factors influencing them to accept COVID-19 vaccination included:

  • trust in the COVID-19 vaccine development science and research process 
  • trust in COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness 
  • perception of COVID-19 as a serious disease and feeling personally at risk 
  • belief that the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh any potential risks. 

Accepting health and aged care workers also reported wanting to protect others and described getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a proactive way of doing this.

Participants reported that exposure to misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination and changing information and advice on the COVID-19 pandemic created mistrust.

“Health and aged care workers continue to be at the forefront of the pandemic, providing care and support to many people in Australia. Findings from our study can be applied to better support them with resources and information during the pandemic,” Dr Kasia Bolsewicz, lead author of the study, said.

Read the full publication here