COVID-19 vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and experiences of health care workers in Perth, Western Australia: A qualitative study

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Introduction Health care workers (HCWs) faced an increased risk of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout commenced in February 2021 to priority groups, including HCWs. Given their increased risk, as well as influence on patients’ vaccine uptake, it was important that HCWs had a positive COVID-19 vaccination experience, as well as trusting the vaccine safety and efficacy data. Methods Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 19 public- and privately-practicing HCWs in Western Australia between February-July 2021. Data were deductively analysed using NVivo 12 and guided by the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation-Behaviour model. Results 15/19 participants had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine. Participants were highly motivated, mostly to protect themselves and to get back to “normal”, but also to protect patients. Many had a heightened awareness of COVID-19 severity due hearing from colleagues working in settings more impacted than Western Australia. Participants trusted the COVID-19 vaccine development and approval process; their histories of having to accept vaccines for work helped them to see COVID-19 vaccination as no different. Many recalled initially being unsure of how and when they’d be able to access the vaccine. Once they had this knowledge, half had difficulties with the booking process, and some were unable to access a clinic at a convenient location or time. Participants learnt about COVID-19 vaccination through government resources, health organisations, and their workplace, but few had seen any government campaigns for the wider public. Finally, most had discussed COVID-19 vaccination with their social network. Conclusion HCWs in Western Australia demonstrated good knowledge about COVID-19 vaccination, with many reasons to vaccinate themselves and support the vaccination of others. Addressing the barriers identified in this study will be important for planning to vaccinate health workforces during future pandemics.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0279557
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12 December
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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