By CBSLA Staff

SYLMAR (CBSLA) – As concerns over unvaccinated COVID-19 infected patients overwhelming hospitals in Los Angeles, data suggests that a large number of employees at area hospitals aren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus either.

At County USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights, federal data shows about half of the workers have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The same is true at Olive View UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar.

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Some doctors said that vaccination rates at hospitals often reflect the rates of the population or community that it serves and that health care workers are not immune to all the same misinformation everyone else sees.

“It is very discouraging, you know, just as a health care worker myself, when you hear of lower percentages,” Dr. Courtney Gidengil, a Rand Corporation physician, said.”And the variability is a concern too just in terms of equity and making sure that the patients we all care for are really safe.”

Dr. Richard Carpiano, a UC Riverside Professor of Public Policy, said that the vaccination rates should be much higher than what they are given the point of where we are in the pandemic and the availability of vaccines. Capriano added that those in non-clinical jobs, from administrative staff to cafeteria workers and janitors, people in those positions might not be as up to speed on the pandemic or the vaccine as nurses and doctors are.

At other hospitals, in more affluent communities, the rates show a different story.

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Less than 2% are unvaccinated at Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, at Memorial Care Saddleback in Laguna Hills and USC Verdugo Hills Hospitals in Glendale.

Dr. Capriano said this is a general trend often seen with vaccination and added, “…but it’s particularly been one we see with COVID, which is really sort of unfortunate.

What might help people the most, according to Dr. Gidengil, is understanding why some people might be vaccine hesitant in the first place.

“I think too often we make assumptions about why people aren’t vaccinating and certainly there could be an us versus them sort of dynamic that doesn’t necessarily need to be there and isn’t always helpful,” she said.

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Governor Gavin Newsom did recently announce that all health care workers and state employees must be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID tests, as well as continue to wear masks. These measures go into effect August 23.