Newswise — A survey of U.S. members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology shows that more than 96 percent are fully vaccinated, while 78 percent said that 75 percent or more of their staff with patient contact are vaccinated. The Academy is calling on its members to continue to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and encourage people to get vaccinated, including their staff.
“As data and science-driven individuals, it’s not especially surprising that nearly all ophthalmologists are vaccinated,” said David W. Parke II, MD, Academy CEO. “The data is clear, the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. It’s also clear that getting as many Americans vaccinated as quickly as possible is the path out of this crisis. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of disease transmission and the emergence of new coronavirus variants.”
Of the 8,000 members surveyed, 871 completed the online questionnaire. The survey was conducted from May 14 through June 8 and has a confidence level of 95 percent +/- 3 percent.
Like physicians across the country, ophthalmologists have rolled up their sleeves because vaccinations are the best way to protect themselves, their families, and their patients. As we reach a pivotal moment in the pandemic, the Academy urges its members to follow Health and Human Service’s recommendations and encourage staff, patients, and neighbors to get vaccinated by July 4.
Here are a few ways the Academy is encouraging ophthalmologists to get involved:
- Take the time to sit down with staff to answer their questions and concerns about the vaccine. Fear and misinformation are among the biggest drivers of vaccine hesitancy.
- Take the time to talk to patients. Ophthalmologists have more opportunity to develop trust with their patients since they see them regularly to treat their chronic eye disease. This podcast from the Academy discusses how to have productive conversations with patients about vaccines.
- Join the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s We Can Do This The campaign offers resources and toolkits for stakeholders to use to provide COVID-19 vaccine information to at-risk populations.
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is partnering with the We Can Do This campaign to offer several webinars to walk through each toolkit and its resources and train community organizations, local voices and trusted leaders to use the campaign tools for vaccine outreach efforts to diverse communities.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The Academy is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, it protects sight and empowers lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for its patients and the public. The Academy innovates to advance the profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Through its EyeSmart® articles on AAO.org, the Academy provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.