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Original article

Vol. 151 No. 3738 (2021)

Vaccination willingness for COVID-19 among healthcare workers: a cross-sectional survey in a Swiss canton

  • Kathrin Zürcher
  • Catrina Mugglin
  • Matthias Egger
  • Sandro Müller
  • Michael Fluri
  • Laurence Bolick
  • Rein Jan Piso
  • Matthias Hoffmann
  • Lukas Fenner
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w30061


AIMS OF THE STUDY: Vaccination is regarded as the most promising response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We assessed opinions about COVID-19 vaccination, willingness to be vaccinated, and reasons for vaccination hesitancy among healthcare workers.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional, web-based survey among 3,793 healthcare workers in December 2020 in the Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland, before the start of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

RESULTS: Median age was 43 years (interquartile range [IQR] 31–53), 2,841 were female (74.9%). A total of 1,511 healthcare workers (39.8%) reported willingness to accept vaccination, whereas 1,114 (29.4%) were unsure and 1,168 (30.8%) would decline vaccination. Among medical doctors, 76.1% were willing, whereas only 27.8% of nurses expressed willingness. Among the 1,168 healthcare workers who would decline vaccination, 1,073 (91.9%) expressed concerns about vaccine safety and side effects. The willingness of healthcare workers to be vaccinated was associated with older age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.97, 95% confidence interval [Cl] 1.71–2.27) and having been vaccinated for influenza this year (aOR 2.70, 95% Cl 2.20–3.31). Healthcare workers who reported a lack of confidence in government were less likely to be willing to be vaccinated (aOR 0.58, 95% Cl 0.40–0.84), and women were less willing to be vaccinated than men (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.28–0.38).

CONCLUSION: Less than half of healthcare workers reported willingness to be vaccinated before the campaign start, but proportions varied greatly depending on profession and workplace. Strategies with clear and objective messages that particularly address the concerns of healthcare workers are needed if their willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is to be further increased.


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