Make COVID Vaccine Mandatory for Doctors?

May 7, 2021 – Should COVID-19 vaccination be required for healthcare professionals?

WebMD polled its readers to ask this question and garnered 3,035 responses. Almost two-thirds, or 66%, said yes and 34% said no. Of the positive votes, 55% thought these vaccinations should be required immediately and 11% said they should eventually be required.

WebMD’s sister site, Medscape, which produces health information for medical professionals, conducted a similar survey. The results were similar: 69% of 998 doctors said employers should require clinicians to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Among this group, 7 in 10 said the vaccination should be required immediately, while 30% said the requirement should await full FDA approval.

In both polls, people 65 and older were the biggest supporters of the COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare professionals.

In the WebMD poll, 25 to 34 year olds were the only group where a majority did not think vaccines should be mandatory. Only 48% of this group agreed with this idea. Almost three-quarters, or 73%, of people aged 55 to 64 supported such a vaccination mandate.

And immunization status seems to be important to readers. When asked about their likelihood of making a medical appointment with a doctor they knew was not vaccinated, 24% said “very likely”. Another 9% said they were probable, 20% were neutral about it and 17% said they were unlikely.

Almost a third, 31%, said they were “very unlikely” to make such an appointment.

Of the respondents, 61% said they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 48% said they were fully vaccinated.

The WebMD poll also asked people to report concerns, if any, with COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 37% were concerned that the side effects of the vaccine would outweigh the risk of COVID-19. The same percentage raised concerns about efficiency.

Additionally, 28% expressed concerns about other side effects, 27% about speed of development, and 26% were concerned that some companies’ vaccines are better than others.

The seven-question WebMD survey took place online from April 27 to May 3.

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