The United Kingdom’s General Dental Council (GDC) has expressed concern that 23% of clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers polled by the UK-REACH study were hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The UK-REACH study included 11,584 healthcare workers in the United Kingdom, including 716 dental professionals. According to the survey, 551 of these professionals were not hesitant about getting the vaccine (77%) and 151 were (21%), with 14 missing responses.
“We encourage all dental professionals to be vaccinated as an important step in protecting their patients, their communities, and, of course, themselves,” said Stefan Czerniawski, GDC executive director of strategy.
Qualitative data identified a lack of trust in government and employers, safety concerns due to the speed of vaccine development, lack of ethnic diversity in vaccine studies, and confusing and conflicting information among the reasons behind the hesitancy.
“This research shows that most healthcare workers, including dental professionals, recognize that vaccines are safe and effective, but that a minority remain hesitant. It’s important to understand the reasons for that so that concerns can be addressed and take-up encouraged,” he said.
“We have recently updated our vaccination guidance for dental professionals and employers, which we encourage everyone working in dentistry to read,” he continued. “We will continue to seek opportunities to promote as wide a vaccination take-up as possible and to support the important work of the UK-REACH study.”