Frontline workers in California and Ohio are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, despite being top-priority to receive it.
About 20 percent to 40 percent of Los Angeles County’s frontline workers declined the shot, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Those numbers don’t include the one in five nurses and doctors at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California, who also refused to take the vaccine.
April Lu, a nurse at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, said she refused to take the vaccine because she isn’t sure it is safe for pregnant women; she is six months pregnant and clinical trials have not been conducted on pregnant women yet.
“I’m choosing the risk — the risk of having COVID, or the risk of the unknown of the vaccine,” Lu said.
“I think I’m choosing the risk of COVID. I can control that and prevent it a little by wearing masks, although not 100 percent for sure.”
Fewer than half of the 700 hospital workers eligible to receive the vaccine at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Tehama County were willing to receive the jab.
Riverside County experienced the same problem when 50 percent of its frontline workers refused to receive the vaccine. Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Los Angeles Times that the hospital and public officials had to come up with a plan to distribute the unused doses to other populations.
Ohio observed a similar issue and 60 percent of nursing home employees have already refused the vaccine, NBC News reported.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine estimated about 85 percent of nursing home residents had already received the jab.
“We’re not going to make them, but we wish we had a higher compliance,” DeWine said in a news briefing Wednesday.
“And our message today is: The train may not be coming back for a while. We’re going to make it available to everyone eventually, but this is the opportunity for you, and you should really think about getting it.”
The data comes as doubts about the vaccine continue to spread and the rollout of the vaccine has met several logistical hurdles.
About 60 percent of Americans said they would receive the vaccine compared to 39 percent who said they would not, according to a November study from the Pew Research Center.
Of the group who said they would not receive the shot, 46 percent said they possibly would receive it once others started to get it and there was more information.
As of Saturday morning, the vaccine is recommended to everyone except those who experience severe allergic reactions to any of its ingredients.
“Our ability as a society to get back to a higher level of functioning depends on having as many people protected as possible,” Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch told the Los Angeles Times.
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