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Attitudes and Beliefs of Patients With Left-Ventricular Assist Devices Toward COVID-19 Vaccination and Willingness to Seek Care During the Pandemic


Given the stalling improvement in vaccine hesitancy rates in the United States (US), it is important to understand why a chronically ill group, patients with left-ventricular assist devices (LVADs), might not get vaccinated and to delineate the barriers they may face in seeking care. We conducted an online survey to characterize the attitudes of patients with LVADs toward COVID-19 vaccination, identify their willingness to seek care during the pandemic, and characterize barriers to doing so. Our survey showed that the rate of vaccine hesitancy among LVAD patients is similar to that of the general population in the US. This rate is higher than expected for a chronically ill group at risk of severe COVID-19 infection. We also found that LVAD patients perceive barriers to seeking care during the pandemic. We recommend that LVAD care teams emphasize that patients should seek care for emergency medical conditions despite their fears of contracting COVID-19. Based on our results, we also recommend vaccine uptake education for this population focused on patients’ concerns about serious side effects and not enough research done on the vaccine.


Keywords:

COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; heart failure; vaccine hesitancy; ventricular assist device.



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