Doctor and senior woman wearing facemasks during coronavirus and flu outbreak. Virus protection. COVID-2019..

More than two-thirds of nursing home staffers cited associated side effects as the top reason for why they’re skeptical to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new study. 

An analysis of more than 8,200 Indiana nursing home and assisted living workers revealed that overall, 69% of staff said they would receive a federally-approved vaccine either immediately or they would consider taking the vaccine doses at a later date. Additionally, 23% said they would be unwilling to receive the vaccine because it’s “too new,” a lack of trust, the need for more research or because the topic is too political, according to the study. 

Of the workers who were unwilling to take the vaccine, 70% cited concerns about side effects, while 20% questioned the medications’ effectiveness and 12% expressed religious reasons as to why they would receive the doses. 

Researchers argued that though vaccinations hold promise of protection against serious illness and death, and a return to normalcy for long-term care facilities, that promise cannot be realized without a “strong uptake of the vaccines.” 

“Long-term care staff will be weighing both risks to the resident they care for, and their own beliefs and personal concerns when they make decisions regarding receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The rates of willingness to receive the vaccine found in this survey are a positive sign and may be able to be improved with dedicated education and outreach efforts,” the authors concluded. 

Full findings were published Thursday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The analysis comes after an early December survey of certified nursing assistants found that nearly three out of four of the workers said they wouldn’t take the vaccine, citing skepticism over the rapidity of its launch and lack of information on potential risks.