Healthcare workers and COVID-19 vaccination: a living systematic review
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Institue of Social Medicine, University o Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
Cancer National Institute, Health Ministry, Brazil
Institute of Social Medicine, University of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
Cancer National Institute, Brazil
Global Health and Tropical Medicine, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A504
Background and Objective: The COVID-19 has shaken the scientific community and highlighted the lack of policies to protect and support health care workers (HCWs) in public health emergencies. The discovery of the vaccine was not enough to defeat the pandemic for several reasons, such as antivaccine behavior, deficit of vaccines in several countries and fragile policies for vaccine coverage worldwide. We aimed to identify HCWs’ skills and requirements for covering a target population; countries’ politics to uptake vaccination; and strategies for improving vaccination team’s performance. Methods: Living systematic review of studies retrieved from PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Lilacs, Web of Science, WHO COVID-19 database, and Google Scholar published between January 2020 and March 2022. The PICo search tool was used for the research questions about requirements, policies and strategies for HCWs and target population vaccination. Risk of bias and Certainty of evidence were assessed by GRADE CERQual tool. Results: A total of 4556 studies were identified in the databases. First,193 studies were selected for retrieval. Then, 162 studies were selected for full-text reading. We identified 29 publications that met the inclusion criteria. After full texts reading, 10 studies were excluded. Data extraction was done from 19 studies. Most of the evidence came from cross-sectional surveys and qualitative studies. The main findings are related to vaccine hesitancy, which is not a minor issue among the HCWs. Countries have embraced few policies for covering the target population and the HCWs worldwide. Conclusions: The pandemic has yet to be overcome entirely. Skepticism, mistrust, and hesitancy are global issues that can jeopardize immunization coverage. Governments will need guidance to develop and advance policies for vaccine coverage, control outbreaks of new strains. We propose to continue the living systematic review method to accompany the development of strong evidence studies to support public policies on this subject.