By Michael Morgan
With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, the newly sworn in President Biden has pledged to distribute 100 million COVID-19 shots in the first 100 days of his term.
To date, we’ve successfully vaccinated 9.5 million people in the United States, however, millions of people are still awaiting their turn. As more individuals are vaccinated, consumer enthusiasm for receiving the vaccination has also increased. According to a recent survey from Kaiser, 41% of U.S. adults reported that when an FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19 is available to them for free, they will get the vaccine as soon they can - which is up from 34% in December 2020. However, hesitations still exist, and immunizing such a large volume of people comes with challenges.
Many Americans have questions about what to expect with the COVID vaccine, where they can receive it, how it will be provided and more. Technology played a vital role in vaccine discovery and development. And it will also play a role in successful vaccine delivery. As they face an onslaught of questions, providers need to ensure they have a seamless workflow in place to communicate with patients, schedule appointments and ensure dose adherence.
Patients want to hear from their doctors
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From concerns about potential side effects to questions regarding availability, now more than ever, patients need to hear from their physicians. While determining the true root of an individual's vaccine hesitancy can be complex, reasons for vaccine hesitancy typically fit into three categories:
1. Low confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine
2. Complacency/perceived low risk of contracting the virus
3. Lack of convenience in the availability and accessibility of reviewing the vaccine
Physicians play a key role in driving vaccine acceptance and combatting hesitancy among patients. In fact, according to a recent survey by Updox conducted by The Harris Poll, more frequent patient and provider communication as the vaccine rollout continues is essential, as 39% of patients want to hear from their healthcare provider weekly or more often about the vaccine. Even if physicians are not the ones physically distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, providers are viewed as the most trusted resource on the topic, as 87% of patients prefer to hear COVID-19 vaccine related communications from their healthcare provider, with providers cited as the most trusted source on the topic (34%) -- behind health protection agencies (32%), government entities (9%), and the biotechnology companies developing the vaccines (4%).