Healthcare providers were first in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to take it. A survey from March shows that just over half of all frontline healthcare workers have been vaccinated, months after essential workers were allowed to roll up their sleeves. Data from June shows that at least 1 in 4 healthcare workers have still not been vaccinated.
We asked millions of nurses to share why they’ve decided not to get the shot, even though it could save their life. Here are some of their answers:
The vaccines have received emergency use authorization from the FDA, which is not the same as a full approval. The agency uses the emergency authorization option during public health crises when there is no alternative treatment. This doesn’t mean that the vaccines are any less effective. The FDA still holds these drugs to the highest standards before authorizing them for the public.
All three vaccines currently being administered in the U.S. have been studied in clinical trials with tens of thousands of participants. The FDA and CDC continue to monitor the efficacy and safety of the vaccines after they’ve received emergency use authorization.
Immunocompromised individuals should still get vaccinated; however, there is evidence to suggest the vaccine may not be as effective for these individuals. CDC advisors are meeting to discuss the possibility of issuing a third shot or dose for the immunocompromised.
While the data are limited, there have been several studies showing the vaccine doesn’t have an adverse effect on pregnancy.
The COVID-19 vaccine also doesn’t come with a GPS tracker. This is misinformation related to a conspiracy theory that’s been spreading on social media.
Infected individuals create antibodies that can help ward off infection and disease, but immunity generated from a prior infection isn’t the same as immunity generated from the vaccine. It’s not clear how long immunity from past infections will protect individuals from the virus. Antibodies from the vaccine are designed to target a wide range of COVID-19 variants. Individuals with immunity from an infection may be vulnerable to new variants, such as Delta.
There is also no evidence to suggest the vaccines cause autoimmune diseases. There’s also no evidence to suggest the vaccine leads to an autoimmune flare in people with autoimmune disorders.
The vaccine was not tested on aborted babies. It was developed faster than other vaccines, but that’s only due to the fact that the government was investing billions of dollars into the testing and manufacturing process.
While the exact origins of the virus remain unknown, there’s no evidence to suggest it was released as a biological weapon. There’s also no evidence to suggest the makers of the vaccine already had it.
It’s troubling to see so many healthcare providers reluctant to get the vaccine. Some people may never get the shot, and there’s nothing we can do to convince them otherwise.