Hospital CEOs on COVID-19 vaccines: Employee hesitancy will decrease as rollout continues

Hospital CEOs told CNBC Dec. 17 they are confident healthcare workers who are hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will be less skeptical once they take in more information and see more colleagues getting it. 

Hospitals and health systems across the U.S. are receiving their first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for employees after emergency use was approved by the FDA Dec. 12.  

Will Ferniany, CEO of Birmingham, Ala.-based UAB Health System, acknowledged to CNBC that some healthcare workers may be hesitant, but he told the news channel he believes skepticism will decrease as workers get educated and hear about experiences from other staff.  

"I believe as they see what happens with their friends and as this rolls out — and the vaccine has been rolling out very smoothly in Alabama — I think that most everybody" will want to take the shots, he said.

Marc Boom, MD, CEO of Houston Methodist, agreed. He told CNBC more than 11,000 of the health system's employees have agreed to take the vaccine, while others are "taking a wait-and-see attitude." 

But he also said he believes education and the experience of colleagues will help reduce hesitancy.

Access CNBC's full interview with the CEOs here.


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