On Tuesday, a Walgreens executive told CNBC that 60% of nursing home workers refused the COVID-19 vaccine, raising concerns among public health officials.
Rick Gates, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy and Healthcare at Walgreens, said “unused doses were reallocated to other high-priority groups with the help of state officials,” according to Forbes.
He also said that nearly 20% of nursing home residents refused the vaccine.
Many state health officials have expressed concerns over the surprising number of healthcare workers turning down the vaccine, contributing to a slow distribution. Due to this, the country is stumbling with unused or expired doses.
The health workers who declined the vaccine gave several reasons, such as misinformation about safety and efficacy, a desire to wait and see how others respond to the shots, and concerns about political rush influencing the vaccine development process.
Meanwhile, pharmacies have started taking a more prominent role in rolling out the vaccine.
In October, Donald Trump enlisted CVS and Walgreens to administer vaccines inside nursing homes. However, the partnership is expanding under President Joe Biden, with the administration announcing that it would start shipping COVID vaccine doses directly to retail pharmacies from February 11.
In December, a survey found that nearly 60% of frontline health workers declined to take the vaccine.
At the time, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he was particularly “troubled” by the fact that 60% of nursing home staff declined the shot.
In November, the Firefighters Association said nearly 55% of New York Fire Department firefighters said they would not get the vaccine. The story was originally published Tuesday on Forbes.