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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