“I’m choosing the risk — the risk of having COVID, or the risk of the unknown of the vaccine,” said 31-year-old nurse April Lu of the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles, who added that she refused to take the vaccine because she wasn’t convinced of its safety for pregnant woman. Lu is six months pregnant.
“I think I’m choosing the risk of COVID. I can control that and prevent it a little by wearing masks, although not 100% for sure,” she added. Lu isn’t alone, with several of her co-workers similarly refusing to take the vaccine.
“I feel people think, ‘I can still make it until this ends without getting the vaccine,’” she said.
The extent to which healthcare workers are refusing the vaccine is unclear, but reports of lower-than-expected participation rates are emerging around the country, raising concerns for epidemiologists who say the public health implications could be disastrous.
A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 29% of healthcare workers were “vaccine hesitant,” a figure slightly higher than the percentage of the general population, 27%.
“Even the name, Operation Warp Speed, draws some concern for people about the rush to push it through,” said Dr. Medell Briggs-Malonson, an emergency medicine physician at UCLA Health who has received the vaccine. Still, she urged her colleagues to do the same. -LA Times