In Practice

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaxxers – supporting healthcare workers to navigate the unvaccinated: Reflections from clinical practice

J Hoare, M Mendelson, L Frenkel

Abstract


An important step in preparation for the fourth COVID-19 wave is to provide healthcare workers (HCWs) with skills to facilitate behaviour change in vaccine-hesitant patients. Convincing members of the public who are vaccine hesitant rather than anti-vaxxers should be the focus of our efforts. Our experience is that vaccine-hesitant individuals and anti-vaxxers are generally distinct cohorts, with differing reasons for their vaccine reluctance. If we are to truly address hesitancy, we must take time to understand the reasons for an individual’s hesitancy. Developing a conceptual framework and skills for HCWs during encounters with unvaccinated individuals will be important not only for shifting some to get vaccinated, but also to manage the complex emotions that HCWs will undoubtedly be forced to confront during the fourth wave.


Authors' affiliations

J Hoare, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Peninsula Medical School, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth, UK

M Mendelson, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

L Frenkel, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Mental health; Healthcare worker; Vaccine hesitancy; COVID-19

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2022;112(1):11-13.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-02-02
Date published: 2022-02-02

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