ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis construction industry has a vaccine hesitancy problem, according to one organization that said upwards of 46% of construction workers are hesitant or against getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
In an effort to address the problem, Construction Forum is attempting to educate the industry through a series of videos and links, all under a website called Vax Facts STL.
Launched about a week and a half ago, Vax Facts STL features resources about the vaccine and common misconceptions, as well as video messages from leaders within the St. Louis construction community. The videos answer questions, share personal Covid-19 experiences and encourage construction workers to reconsider their stance on the shot.
The project cost between $30,000 and $50,000, and was fully funded by Thom Kuhn, president of construction firm Millstone Weber and a director on Construction Forum's board.
“This is a deeply personal decision. We don't want to have anything to do with political controversies,” said Tom Finan, executive director and co-founder of the Construction Forum. “What we're trying to say is this: Here's the information, here's the science and here's an emotional appeal from your colleagues. We all want to keep working. At least give a careful consideration before you (decide).”
The videos are a combined effort from construction firms in St. Louis — they feature executives and employees from local firms and labor unions. Dr. Ann Marie Dale, an epidemiologist at Washington University who has studied the construction community for the past 20 years, worked with the Construction Forum to pull together information for the video scripts.
According to Dale, studies show anywhere from 39% to 46% of all construction workers are hesitant or against getting the vaccine. Dale said that topics such as the distrust of government and authority, misunderstanding of the vaccine and access to the vaccine — construction workers’ long hours may interfere with appointment availability — may cause the high levels of vaccine hesitancy.
“The whole point behind these videos was to make them short enough so that individual workers will pick them up, read them or listen to them,” Dale said. “We are trying to speak to those on the fence, to push them over to the other side and help them understand correct information and then make informed decisions for themselves.”
Click here for the full story.