Conversation Cafe

The Impact of Variable COVID Vaccine Acceptance on Interprofessional Team Functioning

Monday, August 22, 2022, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT

The COVID pandemic brought into focus differences in rates of vaccine hesitancy among healthcare providers.  However, variations in influenza vaccine acceptance have been documented long before COVID. In 2019, the World Health Organization listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the Ten Threats to Global Health. Since the beginning of the pandemic a number of studies have documented significant variability in vaccination rates among healthcare professionals.  Most of the studies show that physicians are most likely to be vaccinated and much has been written about vaccine hesitancy among nurses in particular. It should also be noted that a number of health care workers throughout the United States were willing to lose their jobs rather than comply with vaccine mandates.  A 2021 study in the American Journal of Infection Control found that approximately 3 out of every 20 health care workers they surveyed were vaccine hesitant. They also found that African Americans, non-physicians or those concerned about side effects, particularly those possibly impacting fertility, pregnancy and lactation were more likely to refuse vaccination. Political party affiliation has also been correlated with vaccine acceptance or lack thereof.

The purpose of this Conversation Café is to explore the impact of COVID 19 beliefs and behaviors on interprofessional team functioning. Do teams with differing beliefs give confusing or mixed messages to patients? How do differences in the acceptance of scientific data impact trust between team members? How much does heightened trust between team members reduce vaccine hesitancy? How do teams work to overcome the variety of beliefs and behaviors that often exist within them and that can reduce trust among them? These are some of the questions that will be discussed during the session.

Selected Resources:

Heyerdal, L.W., Deielen, S., Nguyen, T.T., Van Riet, C., Kattumana, T., Simas, C., Vandaele, N., Vandamme, A., Vandermeulen, C., Giles-Vernick, T., Larson, H., Peeters Grietens, K., Gryseels, C. Doubt at the Core: Unspoken Vaccine Hesitancy Among Healthcare Workers. www.thelancet.com. 2022;12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100289

Toth-Manikowski, S.M., Swirsky, E.S., Gandhi, R., Piscitello, G. COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy Among Health Care Workers, Communication, and Policy-Making. American Journal of Infection Control. 2022;50:20-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2021.10.004