Vaccination hesitancy is a serious threat to achieve herd immunity in a global and rapidly changing pandemic situation. Health care workers play a key role in the treatment of patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
BackgroundVaccination hesitancy is a serious threat to achieve herd immunity in a global and rapidly changing pandemic situation. Health care workers play a key role in the treatment of patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and in promoting vaccination in the general population. The aim of the study was to provide data on COVID-19 vaccination acceptance and barriers among healthcare workers in Germany to support health policymakers choosing specific vaccination campaign strategies. MethodsAn online survey was conducted among health care workers in Germany in February 2021. The survey included 55 items on demographics, previous vaccination behavior, trust in vaccines, physicians, pharma industry, and health politics as well as fear of adverse effects, assumptions on disease consequences, knowledge about vaccines, information seeking behavior and a short COVID-19 vaccine knowledge test. ResultsA total of 4500 surveys could be analyzed. The overall vaccination acceptance was 91.7%. The age group [≤]20 years showed the lowest vaccination acceptance of all age groups. Regarding professional groups, residents showed the highest vaccination acceptance. Main factors for vaccination hesitancy were lack of trust in authorities and pharmaceutical companies. Personal and professional environment influenced the attitude towards a vaccination too. Participants with vaccination hesitancy were more likely to obtain information about COVID-19 vaccines via messenger services or online video platforms and underperformed in the knowledge test. ConclusionsIn conclusion, we found a high acceptance rate amongst German health care workers. Furthermore, several factors associated with vaccination hesitancy were identified which could be targeted in vaccination campaigns.