Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Family Medicine


Elyse Watkins, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA


Purpose: The goal of this article is to review the literature to determine the extent of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers in the United States and to identify any potential barriers.

Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with the search terms “COVID-19”, “vaccination”, “vaccine”, “hesitancy”, “healthcare workers”, and “United States”. Articles published in English within the last three years were selected. There was a total of 29 articles available. A total of 17 articles were excluded due to irrelevance to the topic which left 12 articles for use in this review.

Results: Widespread COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy exists among healthcare workers in the United States. A higher level of vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers is noted in minorities, females, those with occupations without direct patient contact, and those without advanced degrees. Concerns about the speed of vaccine development, potential side effects, and distrust for the government are some of the reasons that contribute to healthcare workers’ vaccine hesitancy.

Conclusion: Clean water is the only thing that has been shown to reduce the burden of infectious disease better than vaccination.1 Vaccine hesitancy in healthcare workers is a multifactorial issue. Understanding the reasons for vaccine hesitancy is important because it allows for thoughtful discussion to hopefully overcome those barriers. Hesitancy to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is an imminent threat in the race to achieve herd immunity.2


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