According to a report from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 depends largely on one’s occupation.
Overall, while hesitancy to receive a vaccine increased between April 2020 and December 2020 among all adults ages 18 to 64, it began to decrease in 2021, from 27.5% in January 2021 to 22.1% in March 2021.
Specific percentages varied largely by occupation and, according to the report, the most willing to receive the vaccine are workers in the life sciences, physical sciences and social sciences, with only 9.6% of these workers expressing hesitancy. The second most willing to receive the vaccine are educators, with only 9.7% expressing hesitancy.
However, those involved in construction employment ranked the highest in terms of hesitancy—46.4%. In second place are those involved in installation, maintenance or repair careers, with 42.6% expressing hesitancy to receive the vaccine.
There were a number of reasons given by those expressing hesitancy. Almost half expressed concerns about possible side effects, and over one-third stated that they didn’t believe they needed the vaccine, they didn’t trust the government or were waiting to see if the vaccine was safe. More than 20% of respondents who expressed hesitancy reported concerns over allergic reactions.
This, of course, is concerning to those in the health profession, with the report noting that, “Workplace outbreaks, spread of infection from healthcare workers to patients, and from workers to customers are public health threats.”
The report added, “Reasons for hesitancy indicate a need for messaging about safety and addressing trust.”
The report concluded by noting that hesitancy among the workforce remains a barrier to pandemic control.
There are, of course, a number of websites focused on providing information to the public on the effectiveness and safety of the three available vaccines, all of which went through a rigorous testing and review process to ensure they met the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website provides information about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.