Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 19 No. 1 (2021)

Addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy - healthcare workers and trainees must be equipped for discussions about vaccines

December 30, 2020


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has challenged our world throughout the past year. As we end 2020 conversing with loved ones, the topic of COVID-19 vaccination is inevitable. Throughout the next year, our gradual return to a more familiar society will be influenced by vaccine compliance. It is therefore paramount that healthcare professionals and trainees are equipped with current knowledge to address the questions and concerns of our loved ones. The Holidays should be viewed as an opportunity to address misconceptions and questions. This brief review outlines some arguments for why a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary and clarifies some features of the current top vaccine candidates. By addressing the questions and concerns of our loved ones before they need to decide whether or not they will receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we lay the groundwork for them to make informed choices.


  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) | IPAC Canada [Internet]. [cited 2020 Dec 1]. Available from:
  2. Government of Canada SC. The Daily — Provisional death counts and excess mortality, January to August 2020 [Internet]. 2020. Available from:
  3. Marshall M. The lasting misery of coronavirus long-haulers. Nature. 2020 Sep 14;585(7825):339–41.
  4. Wu Y, Xu X, Chen Z, Duan J, Hashimoto K, Yang L, et al. Nervous system involvement after infection with COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2020 Jul 1;87:18–22.
  5. Varatharaj A, Thomas N, Ellul MA, Davies NWS, Pollak TA, Tenorio EL, et al. Neurological and neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 in 153 patients: a UK-wide surveillance study. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2020 Oct 1;7(10):875–82.
  6. Carfi A, Bernabei R, Landi F. Persistent Symptoms in Patients After Acute COVID-19. JAMA. 2020;
  7. Mitrani RD, Dabas N, Goldberger JJ. COVID-19 cardiac injury: Implications for long-term surveillance and outcomes in survivors. Heart Rhythm. 2020;17(11):1984–90.
  8. Cruz Rodriguez JB, Lange RA, Mukherjee D. Gamut of cardiac manifestations and complications of COVID-19: a contemporary review. J Investig Med. 2020;68(8):1334–40.
  9. Grillo F, Barisione E, Ball L, Mastracci L, Fiocca R. Lung fibrosis: an undervalued finding in COVID-19 pathological series. The Lancet Infectious Diseases [Internet]. 2020 Jul 28 [cited 2020 Dec 9];0(0). Available from:
  10. Salehi S, Reddy S, Gholamrezanezhad A. Long-term Pulmonary Consequences of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): What We Know and What to Expect. J Thorac Imaging. 2020 Jul;35(4):W87–9.
  11. Gupta A, Madhavan MV, Sehgal K, Nair N, Mahajan S, Sehrawat TS, et al. Extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19. Nat Med. 2020;26(7):1017–32.
  12. Daher A, Balfanz P, Cornelissen C, Müller A, Bergs I, Marx N, et al. Follow up of patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Pulmonary and extrapulmonary disease sequelae. Respir Med. 2020 Dec;174:106197.
  13. Poston D, Weisblum Y, Wise H, Templeton K, Jenks S, Hatziioannou T, et al. Absence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity in pre-pandemic sera from individuals with recent seasonal coronavirus infection. medRxiv [Internet]. 2020 Oct 11; Available from:
  14. Edridge AWD, Kaczorowska J, Hoste ACR, Bakker M, Klein M, Loens K, et al. Seasonal coronavirus protective immunity is short-lasting. Nature Medicine. 2020 Nov;26(11):1691–3.
  15. Gaebler C, Wang Z, Lorenzi JCC, Muecksch F, Finkin S, Tokuyama M, et al. Evolution of Antibody Immunity to SARS-CoV-2. bioRxiv. 2020 Nov 5;2020.11.03.367391.
  16. Widge AT, Rouphael NG, Jackson LA, Anderson EJ, Roberts PC, Makhene M, et al. Durability of Responses after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-1273 Vaccination. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020 Dec 3;0(0):null.
  17. Callaway E. The coronavirus is mutating — does it matter? Nature. 2020 Sep 8;585(7824):174–7.
  18. Subissi L, Posthuma CC, Collet A, Zevenhoven-Dobbe JC, Gorbalenya AE, Decroly E, et al. One severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus protein complex integrates processive RNA polymerase and exonuclease activities. PNAS. 2014 Sep 16;111(37):E3900–9.
  19. Ferron F, Subissi L, Morais ATSD, Le NTT, Sevajol M, Gluais L, et al. Structural and molecular basis of mismatch correction and ribavirin excision from coronavirus RNA. PNAS. 2018 Jan 9;115(2):E162–71.
  20. Padron-Regalado E. Vaccines for SARS-CoV-2: Lessons from Other Coronavirus Strains. Infect Dis Ther. 2020 Apr 23;1–20.
  21. Mahase E. Covid-19: Moderna vaccine is nearly 95% effective, trial involving high risk and elderly people shows. BMJ. 2020 Nov 17;371:m4471.
  22. Polack FP, Thomas SJ, Kitchin N, Absalon J, Gurtman A, Lockhart S, et al. Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020 Dec 10;0(0):null.
  23. Voysey M, Clemens SAC, Madhi SA, Weckx LY, Folegatti PM, Aley PK, et al. Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK. The Lancet [Internet]. 2020 Dec 8 [cited 2020 Dec 10];0(0). Available from:


Download data is not yet available.