Key is to understand why someone may be hesitant
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KYMA, KECY/CBS) - When looking at vaccination rates at hospitals, doctors say it’s important to remember not everyone working in a hospital is a highly educated medical professional.
As more COVID-19 patients come into hospitals across Southern California, the concern is focused on the unvaccinated population, especially young adults. Federal data now shows the rate of vaccination for people working in those hospitals varies, quite a bit.
Dr. Ricahrd Carpiano says, "They should be much higher in terms of vaccination coverage than what they are given where we are at this point in the pandemic and the availability of vaccines."
Dr. Carpiano is a professor of public policy at the University of California - Riverside. He says in non-clinical jobs from administrative staff to cafeteria workers and janitors; people in those positions may not be as up to speed on the pandemic or the vaccine as nurses and doctors are.
At hospitals like County USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights – and County Olive View UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar – only about half of the staff is vaccinated.
Federal data shows a vast minority of staff – about 2% remain un-vaccinated at Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, Memorial Care Saddleback in Laguna Hills and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale.
The numbers show higher hospital vaccination rates tend to be found in more affluent communities.
"Which is a general trend we often see with vaccination, but it’s particularly been one we see with covid, which is really sort of unfortunate," continues Dr. Carpiano.
As the delta variant spreads, the goal nationwide for some medical personnel is targeting and educating the unvaccinated.
Dr. Courtney Gidengil – a physician researcher for the Rand Corporation says what may help most is understanding why someone is hesitant to get the vaccine.
Dr. Gidengil believes, "To really understand and hear what they have to say. I think too often we make assumptions about why people aren’t vaccinating; and certainly there could be an us-verses-them sort of dynamic that doesn’t necessarily need to be there, and isn’t always helpful."
Hospital staff across the state will soon be required to show proof of vaccination; or agree to weekly COVID-19 testing as announced by the governor last week. Both medical offices and hospitals must comply by Monday, August 23.