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Hesitancy among health care workers: what percentage of them are opting out of the COVID vaccine

At Medic EMS, first responders aren't required to receive the vaccine

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Despite health care workers and first responders being at the top of the list to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, some are still opting out of their shots. According to a study recently done by the Washington Post, roughly 40% of health care workers still aren’t vaccinated against the virus.

Despite that hesitancy among some, Medic EMS Fleet Manager Jeremy Pessman got his shot as soon as he could saying, “It was back in January. I took the first available appointment that I could get.”

As of now 75% of Medic EMS staff are now vaccinated. Pessman says he feels good about the number, but in his line of work, he expected it to be higher. “It does surprise me that it was a little bit low.”

He says he hopes to see more employees get vaccinated as time goes on. “I’m hoping just as time goes on and people get a little more comfortable with the vaccines that are out there and the amount of time that passes without any issues that more people will get it.”

It's not just Medic EMS employees that might be hesitant, but workers across the industry. Doctor Toyosi Olutade is the Chief Medical Officer at Unity Point Health Trinity. 

He is also encouraging all health care professionals to get the shot they’re administering. Dr. Olutade saying, “My plea to my fellow health care professionals is to get this vaccine. We have seen it work. We have seen it, not just research has shown, we have experienced it locally here.”

Pessman encourages everyone to get the vaccine, not just health care workers. “Since the COVID vaccines have been kind of pushed out, we’ve definitely seen a steep decline in the amount of COVID patients that we’re transporting.”

With each vaccine administered, it makes the jobs of those who have been on the front lines for a year just a little bit easier.