The Royal College of Nursing recently conducted a survey to determine the results of vaccination efforts among nurses. They polled 24,370 nurses. The result? While 85 % of them had received at least one dose, 15 % of UK nurses remain unvaccinated. According to the RNC, when you take the 24,370 sample group and scale it up to the total of 450,000 registered nurses, that brings the amount of unvaccinated nurses to 75,000.
Nurses are at the forefront of these efforts, because they are the population group most often in contact with the virus. They incur the risk of becoming infected, and in turn, spreading the contagion among patients.
This comes less than a week before the government’s deadline to get UK nurses vaccinated. The government has pledged to get all 15 million Britons in the top four priority groups vaccinated by February 15, on Monday. One of these groups is health care professionals.
It is extremely worrying that, as our survey suggests, many thousands of nursing staff have yet to be given their Covid-19 vaccine less than a week before the government’s deadline. […] With only days to go, every effort must be made to reach all nursing staff to ensure their protection and that of the patients and vulnerable people they care for.
Worries over the vaccine
Some of those nurses who declined the jab cited some concerns regarding the vaccine itself. Of the 1,624 nurses in that group, 38% said they did not want the vaccine at the moment, and 12% said they did not want it at all. These nurses say they have been advised against it. Reasons cited are, among others, worry that the vaccines may cause harm, that it may not have been tested thoroughly enough; fears of potential side-effects; and mistrust in the vaccine’s efficiency, compounded by the slew of variants that have been popping up all over the world.
But Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, remains positive about the vaccination campaign.
The NHS is working at pace to vaccinate these groups and we are on track to offer a vaccination to everyone in these first four priority groups by mid-February.