- In a recent survey released by the American Medical Association, 96% of practicing physicians were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Among all the physicians surveyed, there was no significant difference in various demographic groups including primary care with respect to specialties, region, gender, age, and race.
- Some healthcare systems have required COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees as part of efforts to end this pandemic as quickly as possible.
The number of people who receive their COVID-19 vaccine is increasing every day, helping to reverse this pandemic.
And a group at the top of the list for vaccination rates? Doctors.
In a recent survey released by the American Medical Association (AMA), 96 percent of practicing physicians were fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Of the 301 participants, 150 were from primary care specialties, including family medicine, internal medicine, general medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. The others were other specialties.
Among all the physicians surveyed, there was no significant difference in various demographic groups including primary care with respect to specialties, region, gender, age, and race.
“This statistic doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.
“I find that physicians understand vaccine data the best and are able to make the most informed decision about vaccination. I also think the overwhelming numbers show you that this isn’t really a controversy or an unclear decision – the data is very clear on the protective benefits of vaccination, ”Cioe-Pena said.
Surveys like this help to better understand the mindset of the most educated clinicians in health care. Doctors have spent decades studying the sciences of human health, and it’s reassuring to hear that so many people have received their vaccines quickly.
I was online a few days after the vaccine became available to healthcare workers.
Dr Teresa Murray Amato, president of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in Queens, New York, told Healthline that doctors are vaccinated at a much higher percentage than the general public for multiple reasons.
When vaccines were first introduced, they were first available to healthcare workers, so this group has had more time to get them in recent months.
“In addition, most doctors have easy access to vaccination centers or large health systems that were used from the start as vaccination sites. Finally, most physicians make decisions based on data and beliefs or confidence in science, ”she said.
Of the 4 percent of doctors surveyed who have not yet been vaccinated, only 1.8 percent do not plan to be vaccinated at all.
There are various reasons why people cannot get the vaccine, including active treatment of some cancers, patients receiving care with investigational drugs, and people with severe allergies to some of the vaccine components.
Many Americans consider doctors to be reliable sources of information on health issues. And patients are starting to feel reassured that their doctors received the vaccine so quickly and that it may be safe for them too.
American Medical Association President Susan R. Bailey, MD said, “Practicing physicians across the country are leading by example, with incredible uptake of COVID-19 vaccines,” in a statement. AMA.
“Physicians and clinicians are uniquely positioned to listen to and validate patient concerns, and one of the most powerful anecdotes a physician can offer is that they themselves have been vaccinated,” Bailey said.
Some healthcare systems have even gone so far as to require COVID-19 vaccination for all employees as part of efforts to end this pandemic as quickly as possible.
Although most doctors have received their vaccines, not all healthcare workers have. These groups, which often make headlines, can make the vaccine seem more controversial in the medical world than it actually is.
Recently, nearly 200 Houston Methodist Hospital employees were terminated for failing to comply with this mandate. Although these employees are making headlines, it hides the fact that they represent 0.5% of employees and that more than 24,000 hospital workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to CNN.
Employees at the Methodist Hospital in Houston had the June 7 midnight deadline to get vaccinated as part of the health system’s mandate. A lawsuit filed on the legality and validity of this warrant was recently dismissed by a judge.
Many health care doctors have worked hard to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as they have worked tirelessly to end the pandemic and find it disheartening when people are reluctant to get vaccinated.
People who may be skeptical of the vaccine can be reassured by the number of healthcare workers who have been vaccinated.
“As we slowly move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we continue to try to understand each individual’s perspective while balancing the global effectiveness of high use of the drug. COVID-19 vaccine, ”Amato said.
Cioe-Pena said medical providers can help allay people’s concerns about vaccines and increase the number of vaccinations.
“I think most people, once they’ve had a conversation with a knowledgeable healthcare professional, don’t really mind vaccination,” Cioe-Pena said. “Remember this is the first vaccine where we have very fresh memories of what life was like without the vaccine – it really is day and night. “
Rajiv Bahl, MD, MBA, MS, is an emergency physician and health writer. You can find it on www.RajivBahlMD.com.