COVID-19 vaccination attitudes, beliefs, and experiences among healthcare and social workers in Ticino

Bezani, K and Fadda, Marta and Amati, R and Fiordelli, Maddalena and Albanese, Emiliano and Suggs, S and Caiata Zufferey, Maria (2021) COVID-19 vaccination attitudes, beliefs, and experiences among healthcare and social workers in Ticino. In: 10° giornata della ricerca in medicina umana della Svizzera italiana, 25.6.2021, Lugano, Switzerland.

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Introduction: In Ticino, vaccination against COVID-19 began on 4 January 2021 among residents and employees of nursing homes and institutes for persons with cognitive disabilities. Research has shown that vaccine availability does not equal acceptance. The aim of this study is to explore the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences regarding this vaccination among healthcare and social workers in Ticino. Methods: This is a qualitative study using individual phone interviews with a purposively selected sample of healthcare and social workers employed in nursing homes and institutes for persons with cognitive disabilities in Ticino. Interviews are recorded, transcribed, and anonymized. Questions seek to understand: attitudes towards the vaccination; concerns, thoughts, and motivations; experiences; social norms; COVID-19 risk management behaviors. Results: Sixteen individuals took part to the interviews between 3 February and 22 March 2021. Six participants were women and the mean age was 41.3 years (Std. Dev = 8.5). The analysis of the transcripts yielded different profiles based on the level of trust in the vaccine and of the perception of relevance of the vaccine. Conclusions: This study illustrates the variation in hesitancy levels and reasons for hesitancy within the healthcare and social worker population. Given the importance of vaccinating a majority of the population to reach community immunity, this study shows that federal and cantonal vaccination strategies need to adopt a targeted approach to sustain a truly informed decision process towards vaccination against COVID-19 among healthcare workers.

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