Aims and objectives
To assess the levels of second COVID-19 booster dose or new COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among nurses and explore the potential predictors of vaccine hesitancy.
COVID-19 full vaccination seems to be highly effective against highly contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2. Healthcare workers are a high-risk group since they have experienced high levels of COVID-19-associated morbidity and mortality.
An on-line cross-sectional study was carried out in Greece in May 2022, using a self-administered questionnaire. The study population included nurses in healthcare services who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of study. We considered socio-demographic characteristics, COVID-19-related variables, and attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination and pandemic as potential predictors of vaccine hesitancy.
Among 795 nurses, 30.9% were hesitant toward a second booster dose or a new COVID-19 vaccine. Independent predictors of hesitancy included lower educational level, absence of a chronic condition, good/very good self-perceived physical health, lack of flu vaccination during 2021, front-line nurses that provided healthcare to COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, nurses that had not been diagnosed with COVID-19 during the pandemic, and nurses that had at least one relative/friend that has died from COVID-19. Moreover, increased compliance with hygiene measures, increased fear of a second booster dose/new COVID-19 vaccine, and decreased trust in COVID-19 vaccination were associated with increased hesitancy.
Our study shows that a significant percentage of nurses are hesitant toward a second booster dose/new COVID-19 vaccine. This initial hesitancy could be a barrier to efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a need to communicate COVID-19 vaccine science in a way that is accessible to nurses in order to decrease COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.