Concerns, Attitudes, and Intended Practices of Healthcare Workers toward COVID-19 Vaccination in the Caribbean

hcw covid19

The Caribbean has a long history of being a global leader in immunization, and one of the key factors contributing to this success has been the commitment and dedication of healthcare workers in promoting the benefits of vaccines. Healthcare workers (HCWs) play a critical role in building trust between the public and the immunization program and are generally cited as the most trusted source of information on vaccination. Healthcare workers therefore, must be confident in vaccination as a public health good and be able to transmit this confidence to their patients, family, friends, and community members. However, just as with the public, HCWs are at risk to misinformation about vaccines, especially in the context of the infodemic that is leading to public mistrust and concerns over vaccine safety and complicating the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, globally. For these reasons, the Pan American Health Organization set out to understand the attitudes and intents of healthcare workers in 14 Caribbean countries related to routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination. During April and May 2021, a mixed-methods survey was carried out to capture the thoughts, opinions, and reasoning of HCWs. More than 1000 participated in this study. The objectives of this publication are to present quality data on the behavioral and social drivers of vaccination and COVID-19 vaccines among healthcare workers in the Caribbean, with the aim to improve implementation strategies and tailor communication approaches on COVID-19 vaccines in the Caribbean, and ultimately contribute to increased vaccination acceptance and improved vaccine confidence among HCWs. We hope that the findings presented will be useful to public health decisionmakers, policymakers, communication professionals, and HCWs who seek to be vaccine advocates.