New nursing data reveals life at the sharp end of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout

Media Release    14 July

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) has unveiled new data showing how nurses involved with the COVID vaccine rollout are faring.

Key among the APNA COVID-19 PulseCheck June 2021 survey findings was that nurses involved in the vaccine rollout are playing a leading role in providing education to patients about vaccine hesitancy (88%) and potential side effects (77%).

APNA President, Karen Booth, said the data demonstrated the pivotal role played by primary health care nurses in not only administering vaccines but in educating and informing patients.

“We already knew that nurses were doing a lot in the context of the vaccination rollout however what this new data tells us is the key educational role that nurses are taking on, in informing and in many instances, reassuring the public, about the vaccination rollout,” Ms Booth said.

“The data is also telling us that there’s still a lot of work to do in addressing concern and hesitancy in the wider community, if Australia is to meet its COVID-19 vaccination targets.”

Other vaccine-related findings of the sample survey of the largest workforce in primary health care, show that nurses involved in the rollout are:

  • Taking the opportunity to initiate discussions with patients expressing vaccine hesitancy and concern about potential side effects as part of their routine patient care (75.2%).
  • Vaccine hesitancy has moved from being ranked fourth in the previous PulseCheck survey (April 2021) to first as the main issue impacting nurses in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
  • Reporting that patients’ number one concern relates to potential side effects from the vaccine (86%).

Other key findings reveal an increased workload and administrative burden has meant that nurses are less able to undertake “Preventative health and screening activities” (35% less activity since April 2021) and “Chronic disease and healthy ageing management” (33% less activity since April 2021) work on behalf of patients.

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Media inquiries: Karl Liebich, and 0409 296 339

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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