One in three unvaccinated caregivers will continue to refuse the shot

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New study reveals the impact of the FDA’s announcement on vaccine hesitancy among caregivers, showing that the FDA’s full-approval was not enough to convince unvaccinated caregivers to believe in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

CHARLOTTE, NC — Caring.com, a leading senior living referral service and the nation’s top site for senior care reviews, has published results from a survey that examines how vaccine-hesitant caregivers of seniors responded to the FDA’s full-approval of the Pfizer vaccine. The study contrasts responses from 2,000 caregivers three days after the FDA’s announcement with the responses of the same survey conducted 10 days before the announcement. Respondents were asked about their current vaccination status, future plans for vaccination, reasons for remaining unvaccinated, and how they will respond to current and future vaccine mandates.

Survey findings indicate that vaccine-hesitant caregivers were not swayed by the FDA’s full approval of the COVID vaccine – the percentage of fully and partially vaccinated caregivers remained basically unchanged. Only 50% of seniors’ caregivers are fully vaccinated, and more than 20% have not started the process. After the FDA’s announcement, fewer unvaccinated caregivers plan on getting the shot – 31% now plan on remaining unvaccinated indefinitely, up from 26%. Additionally, 35% of vaccine-hesitant caregivers now say they have concerns about the safety and testing of the COVID-19 vaccines, which is a significant increase from the 29% prior to the announcement.

More than half of all vaccine-hesitant caregivers still say they would rather lose their job than get vaccinated, if required by their employer. This reluctance is especially concerning given the danger to seniors from unvaccinated caregivers, as well as the staffing shortages that would be made worse by the loss of caregivers who refuse to get vaccinated.

“The vaccination of seniors’ caregivers is vitally important to prevent the spread of disease and protect seniors. Despite the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, too many caregivers are still hesitating or refusing to get vaccinated,” says Jim Rosenthal, Caring.com’s CEO. “Whether these caregivers have been given inaccurate information or are simply distrustful of the government, the health and wellness of seniors is at risk. While mandates have unfortunately become necessary in many cases, it’s imperative that these mandates be enacted carefully and compassionately, along with a commitment to educate caregivers about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.”

Data from the study shows that concerns about the safety and testing of COVID-19 vaccines remain the number one reason caregivers list for remaining unvaccinated, followed by doubts that the COVID vaccines are actually effective. More than 1 in 10 caregivers still believe that COVID-19 is a hoax and not an actual health crisis.

Caring.com conducted this survey from Aug. 26 - 28, in partnership with Pollfish – an online survey platform. The organization surveyed 1,000 private caregivers and 1,000 professional caregivers to gauge their attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccine mandates and safety protocols in light of the FDA’s recent full-approval of the Pfizer vaccine. To access the complete report, please visit caring.com/caregivers/post-fda-approval-covid-vaccine-hesitancy-survey.

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