More healthcare workers planned to vaccinate their children under age 5 compared to other parents, according to a new poll conducted by the HERO Registry, which is coordinated by the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

The poll included more than 4,000 healthcare workers from across the United States who are participating in the HERO Registry to help gauge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the front line. It was conducted in November 2021, prior to the Omicron surge and the FDA’s consideration of emergency use authorization for vaccines among this age group.

“We have polled our registry members twice in 2021 and the trend stays the same: people working in healthcare are the first in line to vaccinate,” said Emily O’Brien, PhD, principal investigator of the HERO Registry and associate professor and member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

“Many people look to the example of health care workers in their communities, so the choices they make about vaccines are likely to have a ripple effect,” O’Brien said.

Among parents of children aged 5 and under, 57% of those working in health care said they were likely to vaccinate their children as soon as a vaccine is approved, compared to 26% of parents in the poll who were not working in health care. The survey found that 83% of doctors and 74% of advanced practice clinicians said they would vaccinate their preschool children immediately. Fewer than 50% of paramedics, first responders, and nurses said they would vaccinate their children under 5 right away.

The HERO Registry includes over 55,000 people working in healthcare settings, their family members, and close community contacts. Registry members participate in COVID-19 research studies and surveys. Throughout the pandemic, the HERO Registry has polled its members about topics that matter the most to health care workers, including:

  • Are healthcare workers feeling angrier, and if so, is it affecting their work?
  • As employer requirements for COVID-19 vaccination increase, what can we learn from health care worker experiences?
  • How is moral injury was affecting health care workers during the pandemic?
  • How have healthcare workers’ financial situations been affected by the pandemic?

Anyone who works in a health care setting, their family members, and close community contacts are invited to join the HERO Registry. Registry members can help identify priorities for research and possible solutions for people affected by the pandemic. The HERO Registry leverages PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, and is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

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