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PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260898, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635290


BACKGROUND: With the introduction of the novel COVID-19 vaccine, public hesitancy is being experienced with many turning to healthcare professionals for advice. As future physicians, medical students play a critical role in the public's view of the vaccine. OBJECTIVES: To determine the attitude of U.S. medical students toward mandating the COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers and patients, as well as whether their knowledge of the vaccine plays a role in their view. METHODS: The authors emailed a survey link to all U.S. medical schools with request to distribute it to their medical students. The survey remained open from 02/09/2021 to 03/15/2021 and included questions to determine the attitude of the medical students toward recommending the COVID-19 vaccine, and general knowledge questions about the vaccine. Chi square, Fisher's exact test, and linear regression were conducted to determine associations between willingness to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine and general knowledge of the vaccine. RESULTS: Among the 1,899 responses from medical students representing 151 U.S. medical schools, 57.82% approved of making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory to healthcare workers, and 16.27% approved of making it mandatory to patients. Additionally, those who tested most knowledgeable of the vaccine were less likely to approve of making the vaccine mandatory for patients (66.67% vs. 72.70). Those that tested most knowledgeable were also more likely to personally receive the vaccine (72.35% vs 62.99%) as opposed to those that tested the least knowledgeable who were less willing to personally receive the vaccine (4.12% vs 14.17%). CONCLUSIONS: The data revealed that a slight majority of medical students support a vaccine mandate toward healthcare workers while a minority of medical students support a vaccine mandate toward healthcare workers. Additionally, medical students that had relatively high knowledge of the vaccine correlated with not approving of making the vaccine mandatory for patients. However increased knowledge of the vaccine correlated with increased willingness to personally receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Students, Medical , Vaccination/legislation & jurisprudence , Adult , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , United States , /statistics & numerical data