Hospital staff members' preferences about who should be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine: People with or without Alzheimer's disease?

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Background There is no doubt that people with dementia can greatly benefit from the COVID-19 vaccine, especially as they are at an increased risk of developing severe complications, including long hospitalizations and high mortality rates, as a result of being infected by the virus. However, they might need the encouragement of health professionals to become vaccinated. Professionals' preferences regarding vaccination for this group are, therefore, extremely important to increase the use of this preventive measure. Aims 1. To examine hospital staff members' preferences for COVID-19 vaccination to people with or without Alzheimer's disease (AD) while differentiating between a young and an old person with the disease. 2. To examine the factors associated with these preferences. Methods A cross-sectional survey using a structured and anonymous self-report questionnaire was conducted among a sample of 278 Israeli medical staff (nurses, physicians, and paraprofessionals) working at a general hospital. The data were collected in August 2021. Results Overall, the majority (68.4%) of participants chose the 80-year-old patient with a diagnosis of AD to be the last to receive the vaccine. The percentage of participants who preferred to give the vaccine first to the 55-year-old patient with AD was almost equal to the percentage of those who preferred giving the vaccine first to the 80-year-old patient who was cognitively intact. Religion and beliefs about susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 were significantly associated with participants' preferences. Conclusion Our results suggest that hospital staff members find it difficult to decide whether age or cognitive status should be the main factor in deciding which patient should receive the vaccine first. Therefore, there is a need to implement several policy and practical steps in hospitals to assist the medical staff in such decision-making processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100982
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • COVID-19
  • Dementia
  • Hospital staff
  • Preferences
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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