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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Assess COVID-19 vaccine uptake among veterinarians and describe unvaccinated veterinarians’ perceptions of COVID-19 disease and vaccines.

SAMPLE

2,721 (14%) of 19,654 randomly sampled AVMA members.

PROCEDURES

A survey of AVMA members was conducted between June 8 and June 18, 2021. Information was collected on COVID-19 experience, vaccination intention, and perceptions of COVID-19 disease and vaccines.

RESULTS

A total of 2,721 AVMA members completed the survey. Most respondents reported receiving a COVID-19 vaccine (89% [2,428/2,721]). Most unvaccinated respondents disagreed with concerns about contracting (67% [196/292]) or being harmed by (65% [187/287]) COVID-19 but agreed with concerns about short- (79% [228/290]) and long-term (89% [258/289]) side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. Over 91% (268/292) did not agree that COVID-19 vaccine benefits outweigh the risk. Although 83% (244/293) of unvaccinated respondents reported being unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine, 47% (137/291) agreed they would be more likely if they knew people vaccinated without serious side effects. Perceptions of COVID-19 disease severity and susceptibility, beliefs about COVID-19 vaccine benefits, and barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination varied with vaccination intention.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of the AVMA survey suggested that COVID-19 vaccination was widespread among veterinarians in June 2021. Understanding unvaccinated respondents’ health beliefs about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines may facilitate veterinarian vaccination participation. Veterinarians who abstained from COVID-19 vaccination cited concerns about the safety, efficacy, and necessity of COVID-19 vaccines. Our results suggested that demonstrating vaccine safety and a favorable risk-to-benefit ratio of vaccination may help reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among veterinarians.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) for suicide among male and female US veterinarians from 1979 through 2015.

DESIGN PMR study.

SAMPLE Death records for 11,620 veterinarians.

PROCEDURES Information for veterinarians who died during 1979 through 2015 was obtained from AVMA obituary and life insurance databases and submitted to a centralized database of US death records to obtain underlying causes of death. Decedent data that met records-matching criteria were imported into a software program for calculation of PMRs for suicide stratified by sex and indirectly standardized for age, race, and 5-year calendar period with 95% confidence intervals.

RESULTS 398 deaths resulted from suicide; 326 (82%) decedents were male, 72 (18%) were female, and most (298 [75%]) were ≤ 65 years of age. The PMRs for suicide for all veterinarian decedents (2.1 and 3.5 for males and females, respectively), those in clinical positions (2.2 and 3.4 for males and females, respectively), and those in nonclinical positions (1.8 and 5.0 for males and females, respectively) were significantly higher than for the general US population. Among female veterinarians, the percentage of deaths by suicide was stable from 2000 until the end of the study, but the number of such deaths subjectively increased with each 5-year period.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of the study indicated that PMRs for suicide of female as well as male veterinarians were higher than for the general population. These data may help to inform stakeholders in the creation and implementation of suicide prevention strategies designed for veterinarians.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess proportionate mortality from all causes for male and female US veterinarians during 1979 through 2015.

SAMPLE

Death records for 11,620 veterinarians.

PROCEDURES

For this proportionate mortality ratio (PMR) study, information for veterinarians who died during 1979 through 2015 was obtained from AVMA obituary and life insurance databases and submitted to a centralized database of US death records to obtain underlying causes of death. Decedent data that met records-matching criteria were imported into a software program for calculation of PMRs for all causes stratified by sex and indirectly standardized for age, race, and 5-year calendar period with 95% CIs.

RESULTS

11,620 decedents consisted of 11,049 (95%) males and 571 (5%) females with a median age at death of 77 years. Proportionate mortality for all veterinarian decedents was higher than expected for melanoma (PMRs, 2.1 and 2.2 for males and females, respectively), suicide (PMRs, 2.1 and 3.5 for males and females, respectively), and transportation injuries (PMRs, 1.7 and 1.6 for males and females, respectively). Proportionate mortality for all decedents was lower than expected for respiratory cancers (PMRs, 0.6 and 0.5 for males and females, respectively), diabetes mellitus (PMRs, 0.7 and 0.4 for males and females, respectively), heart disease (PMRs, 0.9 and 0.6 for males and females, respectively), and respiratory disorders (PMRs, 0.7 and 0.6 for males and females, respectively).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated proportionate mortality from malignant melanoma, transportation injuries, and suicide for male and female veterinarians was higher than the general population. These data may help stakeholders improve veterinarian workplace safety and health guidelines.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association