“I believe this is the weapon that will end the war.” New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made the statement at the first known clinically authorized vaccination Monday morning at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. But for many on long-term care’s front lines, doubts remain about a vaccine less than one year in the making.
Cultural mores, divisive politics and widespread disinformation have done little to ease their doubts. Throw in the vaccine’s potential side effects, concerns about being first in line and growing mistrust toward our nation’s institutions, and it’s pretty clear many on the front lines remain far from sold.
A recent survey by the National Association of Health Care Assistants indicates that antipathy runs deep. “I will not be the test dummy,” one respondent wrote. “It’s not going to be safe and I won’t trust it,” noted another. While the full extent of such antipathy remains unknown, many operators are beginning to ponder whether the vaccine’s effectiveness will be compromised by its many doubters.