COVID-19 vaccination uptake is disproportionately lower among rural, politically conservative, and underserved individuals in the United States. Engaging this population requires leveraging unique potential human health advocates, like veterinarians. Between September and October 2021, 103 veterinarians responded to open-ended prompts to assess providers' willingness and potential barriers to discussing COVID-19 vaccination within a veterinary visit. Veterinarians perceived they had a public health role in providing reliable and accurate COVID-19 information, including information related to approved vaccines. However, veterinary practitioners were aware of numerous potential barriers to having such discussions within a clinical visit (e.g., scope of practice concerns, shifting focus away from the animal, politicization of vaccination). Findings indicate policy efforts, aligned with the One Health initiative, are needed to address the role of veterinary medicine in human health care following catastrophic events, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, veterinarians require tailored vaccine materials that can be utilized within the clinic or community setting.
- Vaccine hesitancy