Medical Students’ Perception Towards the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mexico: Distance Learning, Assisting Hospitals, and Vaccination
Background: Mexico has been one of the most affected countries by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its health workers are playing a substantial role, but they are suffering from a high mortality rate, which highlights the need of vaccinating them before any other population. Medical interns have reduced their practices, some continue to assist clinical rotations without the protective equipment, and they are not being considered for vaccination. We wanted to determine the attitude of medical students and interns towards distance learning, assisting hospitals, and vaccination.
Methods: We conducted a paired survey of a cohort of medical students who were evaluated twice, in June 2020 and in December 2020, using an online survey (32-online questions) to assess their perception of the pandemic.
Results: We collected the response of 384 students in the summer period and 331 in the winter period; the majority were women from non-clinical semesters, and the median age of response was 21 years old (IQR 19 – 22). We found that the percentage of acceptance for vaccination was 95.6% in the summer and 93.7% in the winter, a remarkable acceptance in both periods. The percentage of students who manifested having someone close to them with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 was 38.5% in the summer, showing an increase to 77.6% in the winter.
Conclusion: We observed that medical students had a positive attitude towards vaccination and that the probable COVID-19 cases among them have increased in just a few months.
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