Family doctors should give COVID vaccine, survey finds

Almost 70% of physicians believe patients would be less hesitant over vaccine if given by a trusted doctor

A new survey has found that doctors believe patients would be more open to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if it was administered by a trusted doctor. 

The research by Sermo, a social media network for clinicians, was carried out among 3,329 physicians from around the world. It found that nearly 70% said that if they could administer the vaccine to reluctant patients themselves, they believe they would feel more comfortable about getting vaccinated. 

Additionally, nearly half of the people surveyed said that their ability to discuss the benefits of vaccination and answer patients' questions during appointments could help increase their willingness to get vaccinated.

The survey results are released as infection rates rise among people who have not received the vaccine. In the US Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called the latest surge "a pandemic of the unvaccinated".

Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer also showed 65% of physicians believe that vaccinating children is essential for long-term control of the virus. Other findings include: 

* 55% of physicians say their patients are more reluctant to vaccinate their children than themselves due to fear of adverse effects 

* 60% believe a one-dose vial that administered at their office during appointments would be beneficial in continuing to administer vaccinations

* 81% believe that paediatricians and family doctors are in the best position to vaccinate children

Respondents also said resources and information should be created to educate their patient base and parents about the importance of getting vaccinated. 

“Our survey reveals that physicians worldwide feel strongly that they can and perhaps, should, play a very important role in driving COVID vaccination uptake,” said Peter Kirk, Sermo's CEO. 

“The trust they have built with their patients, combined with the ability to counsel, answer questions, ease concerns and provide assurances could help patients overcome their hesitancy to be vaccinated. Allowing physicians to vaccinate their own patients has the potential to increase vaccine rates.” 

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