Many healthcare workers doubtful about vaccine, "they feel like guinea pigs"
While the Dutch municipal health services (GGD) plans to start vaccinating people next month, a significant number of healthcare workers are still doubtful. This was found in a survey conducted by the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV). Nearly 20 percent of healthcare workers are still unsure about vaccination.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will meet on Monday to decide on the authorization of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. The Netherlands plans to start its inoculation process soon after that. Care home staff and healthcare workers are the first ones in line, but it is precisely this group that is the least willing to be vaccinated.
According to the FNV survey, 18 percent still have doubts about their decision, while 13 will probably not get vaccinated. “Care workers who are not sure about it feel like guinea pigs or are anxious about being the first ones,” says vice chairwoman Kitty Jong of FNV.
Among those care workers who are thirty or younger, only a quarter wants to get vaccinated. Although they will be the first in line for the vaccine, healthcare workers still have many unanswered questions. According to Jong, the workers “lack good scientific explanation and feel that the vaccine was developed in a very short time.”
In addition, they feel pressured into taking the vaccine. “They don’t want to feel forced, and we support them in that. You cannot force them directly or indirectly. These people also understand that they work with vulnerable older people but are concerned about their own health,” said Jong.
The vaccination program is set to begin in January. Jong thinks that doubtful care workers can still be convinced. “If people do not yet fully understand the information about the vaccine, it is not so much their fault. It may not be properly communicated.” She argues for better information. Jong also added that “the largest group does want to be vaccinated.”