Washington, January 1: United States, the country worst-affected by the coronavirus pandemic, is witnessing a strange phenomenon. While the country has geared up to vaccinate large portion of its population at the earliest, those at frontline of the crisis are refusing to take the vaccines. Reports have pointed that a huge section of healthcare and other frontline personnel are turning down the offer of being inoculated. COVID-19 Vaccine 'Black-Marketed' in Philippines? Probe Launched Into Unauthorised Vaccination of Soldiers, Expat Chinese Workers.

In Ohio, an acutely low number of nursing home staff agreed to received the doses. Governor Mike DeWine issued a statement to confirm that nearly "60 percent of the nursing home workers" have declined the vaccine shots.

In Houston, large numbers of healthcare personnel at a leading facility have refused the shots. Dr Joseph Varon, the chief of critical care at Houston's United Memorial Medical Centre, told NPR that nearly half of the nurses at the centre have decided not to get inoculated.

A Los Angeles Times report pointed out that nearly 50 percent of the frontline workers in Riverside, California have rejected the vaccine. This has left the hospital and public officials to decide how the unused vaccines could be optimally used.

In St Elizabeth Community Hospital of Tehama County in California, less than half of the workers were ready to be vaccinated. Across the LA County, around 20 to 40 percent of frontline workers reportedly refused to be inoculated with the vaccine.

The frontline workers refusing the vaccine shots not only include medics, but also other emergency service providers. An internal survey of the New York Fire Department last month suggested that 55 percent of the firefighters were not in favour of receiving the vaccine, the Firefighters Association president was reported as saying.

In Chicago's Loretto Hospital, a survey conducted in the month of December suggested that nearly 40 percent of the hospital staff would decline the vaccine shots.

Even as scores of healthcare workers in the US are refusing the vaccine shots, the country continues to record the highest COVID-19 fatality rate. Experts are unsure of the reason behind the hesitant approach towards vaccine shown by frontline personnel, despite the vaccines in fray clearing the regulatory decks on safety and effectiveness.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 04, 2021 08:07 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).