74% of Finger Lakes healthcare workers vaccinated, hospital systems working to reduce hesitancy


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — 74% of healthcare workers in the Finger Lakes region have been vaccinated. The number is high but there are still some healthcare workers reluctant to get the vaccine.

Rochester Regional Health chief medical officer Dr. Robert Mayo said he’s been regularly reaching out to employees who are hesitant about the vaccine to see why and how the health system can help.

He said throughout this process the hospital system has learned which groups of employees are hesitant and has made an effort to help overcome some of their shared concerns. He didn’t specify which group of employees is most unsure but said it doesn’t matter who but rather how the health system is helping and supporting them.

He said three of the hospitals in the region have vaccinated 70% or higher of their healthcare workers and the others have vaccinated 60% or higher.

Dr. Mayo said since the vaccine first came out he’s heard concerns about a quality difference between Moderna and Pfizer. He said neither vaccine is better than the other regardless of how they’re stored.

He also said he’s heard concerns that the vaccine was approved too quickly. “There became some perceptions that perhaps the approval process or development process had been short-circuited in some way but I’m very comfortable with knowing that that did not happen, that is not the case. There’s very good analysis of the steps, there’s many scientists in these pharmaceutical companies and outside of them that have analyzed these steps,” Dr. Mayo said.

When asked about the possibility of requiring the vaccine for employment, Dr. Mayo said this would require state action since the governor has made it clear the vaccine is voluntary.

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