COVID-19, Flu, or Both—There are Always Patients on the Fence

The patients on the vaccine fence are the ones that take the extra time and, over time, an added measure of patience for the clinician.

Vaccine fatigue affects health care professionals, but not in quite the same way as it does their patients.

"It's the people on the fence that take the time to try to explain," said infectious disease specialist William Schaffner, MD, in a conversation with Patient Care. And it's not just COVID immunization that has people on the fence, Schaffner adds, pointing out that primary care clinicians spend time every flu season listening, reflecting back, affirming, and educating patients on influenza vaccination. Adding COVID to the vaccination conversation may require an added measure of reassurance for the patient—and of patience for the clinician.

In the video that follows Schaffner talks about some of the forces behind clinician vaccine fatigue.


William Schaffner, MD, is medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy and a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN.