To investigate intention rates to get vaccinated against COVID-19 among healthcare personnel (HCP) in Greece.
The response rate was 14.5%. Of 1521 HCP with a known profession, 607 (39.9%) were nursing personnel, 480 (31.6%) physicians, 171 (11.2%) paramedical personnel, 72 (4.7%) supportive personnel, and 191 (12.6%) administrative personnel. Overall, 803 of 1571 HCP (51.1%) stated their intention to get vaccinated while 768 (48.9%) stated their intention to decline vaccination. Most HCP (71.3%) who reported intent to get vaccinated noted contributing to the control of the pandemic and protecting their families and themselves as their reasons, while the most common reason for reporting intent to decline vaccination was inadequate information about the vaccines (74.9%), followed by concerns about vaccine safety (36.2%). Logistic regression analysis revealed that the probability of intending to get vaccinated increased with male gender, being a physician, history of complete vaccination against hepatitis B, history of vaccination against pandemic A (H1N1) in 2009–2010, belief that COVID-19 vaccination should be mandatory for HCP, and increased confidence in vaccines in general during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following factors were associated with a lower intention to get vaccinated: no vaccination against influenza the past season, no intention to get vaccinated against influenza in 2020–2021, and no intention to recommend COVID-19 vaccination to high-risk patients.
There is an urgent need to built safety perception towards COVID-19 vaccines and raise vaccine uptake rates by HCP, and thus to protect the healthcare workforce and the healthcare services.
Shortly following the emergence in late 2019 and global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the consequences on healthcare systems became evident []. HCP have been recognized as a high-risk group for occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and onset of clinical illness, while fatalities occurred [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Moreover, high rates of absenteeism were noted among HCP, either because of infection or for post-exposure isolation purposes [].
Starting this autumn, healthcare facilities around the world are experiencing an unprecedented surge of healthcare demands in association with a considerable influx of patients [,]. HCP constitute a high-priority group for COVID-19 vaccination [,]. Aside from protection of HCP, the rationale for vaccination relies also on the need to preserve the essential healthcare services from outbreaks and HCP absenteeism []. The underlying arguments for HCP prioritization for vaccination also include the principle of reciprocity, given their work under intense conditions, putting themselves but also potentially their households at higher risk for the sake of patients [].