Topline
A Walgreens executive told CNBC Tuesday that 60% of nursing home workers turned down the coronavirus vaccine, a striking figure that comes as a surprising number of healthcare workers continue to decline the vaccine. 

People receive a COVID-19 vaccination shot at a pop-up vaccination site at a Bronx church on … [+] February 04, 2021 in New York City.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Key Facts

Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, said unused doses were reallocated to other high-priority groups with the help of state officials.

Gates added that 20% of nursing home residents also refused the vaccine.

The number of healthcare workers turning down the vaccine has surprised public health experts and local officials, contributing to a slow rollout and early stumbles with expired and unused doses across the country.

Key Background
There are several reasons why healthcare workers have been refusing vaccines in startling numbers, including misinformation about safety, a desire to wait and see how others respond to the shots, concerns about politics influencing the vaccine development process and distrust among Black workers in particular after years of mistreatment and racism by the medical establishment.

Tangent
Chain pharmacies are beginning to take a more prominent role in vaccine distribution. In October, the Trump administration enlisted Walgreens and CVS to administer vaccines inside nursing homes. But the partnership is expanding under Biden, with the administration announcing it would start shipping vaccine doses directly to retail pharmacies starting February 11.

Surprising Fact
 The 60% figure squares with other estimates about vaccines hesitancy among frontline workers. In December, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he was “troubled” by the fact that nearly 60% of nursing home staff declined the shot. About 55% of New York Fire Department firefighters said they would not get the vaccine, the Firefighters Association said in November.

Further Reading
Large Numbers Of Health Care And Frontline Workers Are Refusing Covid-19 Vaccine (Forbes)

Vaccine Hesitancy vs. Vaccine Refusal: Nursing Home Staffers Say There’s a Difference (Kaiser Health News)