Koh, S.W.C.; Tan, H.M.; Lee, W.H.; Mathews, J.; Young, D. COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Hesitancy among Healthcare Workers: A Retrospective Observational Study in Singapore. Vaccines2022, 10, 464.
Koh, S.W.C.; Tan, H.M.; Lee, W.H.; Mathews, J.; Young, D. COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Hesitancy among Healthcare Workers: A Retrospective Observational Study in Singapore. Vaccines 2022, 10, 464.
Background: COVID-19 booster uptake remained poor among healthcare workers (HCW) despite evidence of improved immunity against Delta and Omicron variants. While most studies used a questionnaire to assess hesitancy, this study aimed to identify factors affecting true booster hesitancy by examining actual vaccine uptake across time. Method: COVID-19 vaccination database records among HCW working at 7 Singaporean public primary care clinics between January to December 2021 were extracted, with gender, profession, place of practice, vaccination type and dates. Time to booster was calculated from the date of vaccination minus date of eligibility. Chi-square test was used to compare relationship between 1st dose and booster hesitancy, Kaplan-Meier method and Log-rank test were adopted to evaluate differences in cumulative booster uptake. Multivariate cox regression was used to investigate predictors for timely booster vaccination. Vaccination rate was charted across time and corroborated with media releases pertaining to legislative changes. Results: 877 of 891 (98.9%) primary care HCW were fully vaccinated, 73.8% of eligible HCW had taken the booster. HCW were less booster hesitant [median 16 (5-31.3) days] compared to the 1st dose [median 39 (13-119.3) days]. 1st dose hesitant HCW were more likely to be booster hesitant (OR=3.66, 95%CI 2.61-5.14). Adjusting for sex, workplace and time to 1st dose, ancillary (HR=1.53, 95%CI 1.03-2.28), medical (HR=1.8, 95%CI 1.18-2.74) and nursing (HR=1.8, 95%CI 1.18-2.37) received boosters earlier compared with administrative staff. No temporal relationship was observed between booster uptake, legislative changes and COVID-19 infection numbers. Conclusion: Vaccine hesitancy among HCW had improved from booster to 1st dose, with timely booster vaccination among medical and nursing staff. Tailored education, risk messaging and strategic legislation might help to reduce delayed booster vaccination.
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