RN Janelle Roper, left, administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to Nurse Anesthetist Kate-Alden Hartman. John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

1 in 8 nurses haven’t gotten a COVID-19 vaccine or don’t plan to get one, according to a survey by the American Nurses Association.

25% of the nurses surveyed are wary of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines available.

Amid healthcare worker shortages in hospitals, vaccine mandates have become another complicating factor.

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As coronavirus hospitalizations surge again because of the Delta variant, America’s hospitals are dealing with another obstacle: 1 in 8 nurses haven’t gotten a COVID-19 vaccine or don’t plan to get one, a new survey finds, potentially squeezing the already low supply of health workers.

The American Nurses Association surveyed nearly 5,000 nurses across the US in order to learn more about the questions and concerns they have about the vaccine. 25% of the nurses surveyed said they do not trust or are unsure that the coronavirus vaccines available are safe and effective. Out of those who do not intend to get vaccinated, 84% said that there was not enough information about the long-term effects of the vaccine.

Health experts have repeatedly said that vaccines are doing a very good job keeping people alive, out of the hospital, and healthy, and that any negative side-effects would be evident within a couple months after administration.

A majority of the nurses surveyed were hospital workers in medium to large hospitals with 100 to over 1,000 beds and 71% provide direct care to patients at the facilities.

Hospitals across the country are facing severe nursing shortages, with healthcare workers in high demand. Many hae also left the field, citing problems like burnout. However, with the Delta variant on the rise with an increase in vaccine mandates for jobs, hospitals are grappling with whether to require staff to get inoculated for the disease or risk alienating workers.

The ANA supports mandates for COVID-19 vaccinations for nurses, saying that healthcare works have “ethical obligations to model the same prevention measures as their patients,” according to a press release released by the organization. 59% of the nurses surveyed support vaccine mandates.

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“As the largest group of health care professionals, nurses are critical to all facets of COVID-19 response efforts and must strive to remain physically and psychologically safe to function optimally to care for themselves, their patients and their communities,” ANA president Dr. Ernest J. Grant said in the statement. “Nurses must get vaccinated.”

The survey created by the ANA is part of a larger project called COVID Vaccine Facts for Nurses created with several other healthcare organizations, including Johnson & Johnson, to provide nurses with reliable vaccine information.

Healthcare workers in the US were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in December, months before many Americans started receiving shots in their arms. As of the time of reporting, 52.3% of Americans are fully vaccinated, while 61.6% had received at least one dose, according to the CDC.

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