Willingness of Long-Term Care Staff to Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine: A Single State Survey

Academic Article


  • Objectives: To plan for coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine distribution, the Indiana Department of Health surveyed nursing home and assisted living facility staff. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of an anonymous survey sent via text message link to personal cell phones and emails. Setting and Participants: Nursing home and assisted living facility staff in Indiana. Measures: Staff characteristics including age, gender, race, ethnicity, role in the facility, experience in long-term care, and geographic location of facility were self-reported along with prior infection and willingness to receive an approved vaccine as soon as it is available. Responses were weighted to represent staff statewide. Weighted frequencies and logit regression estimated characteristics associated with vaccine willingness. Results: There were 8,243 responses to the survey. For nursing home staff (survey delivered via 23,232 working phone numbers), there was a 33% response rate). There were 2,372 (29%) in nurse aide or similar roles and 1,602 nurses providing direct clinical care (19%). Overall, 45% of respondents indicated they would receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine as soon as available. Of those unwilling to take the vaccine when first available, 44% would consider in the future. Concerns about side effects was the primary reason for vaccine hesitancy (70%). Characteristics associated with increased willingness were age over 60, male, and white race (P <.0001). No statistically significant differences were observed among staff self-reporting prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusions and Implications: The willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine immediately or in the future may be as high as 69%, but varies among subgroups of nursing home staff which has implications for distribution. Educating staff on the vaccine may be critical for increasing uptake. Widespread vaccination holds the promise of protection against serious illness and death and a return of visitors and activities that support improved quality of life. This promise will not be realized without strong uptake of the vaccines.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Unroe KT; Evans R; Weaver L; Rusyniak D; Blackburn J
  • Start Page

  • 593
  • End Page

  • 599
  • Volume

  • 69
  • Issue

  • 3