CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new poll from the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation report that more than four in 10 frontline healthcare workers in the United States have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. According to that poll, which was conducted from February 11 through March 7, 18% of America's frontline healthcare workers have no plan to get the shot.
"Those numbers are really concerning," said Angelique Richard, Senior VP of hospital operations at Rush University Medical Center.
Richard said Rush is far outpacing the national numbers.
Rush reported that over 80% of its frontline healthcare workers are fully vaccinated, with about three quarters of its entire staff protected.
"A lot of the focus has been on town halls and educational materials," Richard added.
Richard said Rush makes sure workers have easy access to vaccine, and helps them understand it is both safe and important to get.
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Sometimes those are one-on-one conversations.
"If you can get one person that day, to, to understand and agree that this is, this is the safest thing for them, then we have a win," Richard said.
She added that a grassroots approach has helped with entry level and minority workers.
As the Washington Post reported, Black, lower income and less educated workers have been vaccinated at especially low rates.
The bigger picture highlights how vaccine hesitancy is an issue in the American population at large.
Like many, Rose DiPietro initially wanted to wait and see how other people fared, but Friday she got her first shot.
"I think seeing your fellow community members get the vaccine, and that it's available and it's right there in your face is going to convince a lot of people," DiPietro said.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul also got his jab Friday morning, to lead by example.
Rush said it's the combination of community and faith leaders, plus colleagues, that has made the difference here.
COVID vaccine hesitancy impacts American population at large
More than 40% frontline healthcare workers in US not vaccinated against coronavirus, poll shows