Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Rural health-care workers are less likely to get coronavirus vaccinations; more employers could impose mandates

Health-care worker vaccination rate by residence typeCovid States Project graph; click on the image to enlarge it.

Rural health-care workers are less opposed to the coronavirus vaccine than they were a few months ago, but they're still less likely than their suburban and urban peers to be fully vaccinated, according to a new study from The Covid States Project.

Health-care workers across the board are more likely to be vaccinated than the general public, but rural workers are less likely than their suburban and urban peers. Only 63 percent of rural health-care workers are vaccinated, compared to 74% of suburban and 75% of urban health-care workers, the study found.

Vaccine resistance among rural health-care workers is at 25%, down from 32% in March. Health-care workers in all of the most vaccine-resistant demographics became more receptive to the vaccine between March and June, including rural, Republican, female, non-college-educated, White, Black, and those that make under $25,000 in a year.
Health-care worker vaccine preferences by rurality. Covid States Project graph; click the image to enlarge it.

But, though vaccine resistance has decreased in recent months, it's still a significant issue among health-care workers. "These numbers showing that healthcare workers are 27% unvaccinated and 15% vaccine resistant suggest that, absent mandates, most of the currently unvaccinated healthcare workers will remain unvaccinated, potentially fueling outbreaks in healthcare facilities," the researchers write. "Given the current surge of cases due to the Delta variant, this will continue to put pressure on health care providers to mandate vaccination for their staff."

The Covid States Project is a joint effort of Harvard, Northeastern, Northwestern, and Rutgers universities. It receives support from the National Science Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and Amazon.

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