An increasing number of U.S. employers and companies are considering COVID-19 vaccine mandates amid declining vaccination rates and rising Delta variant – and more than half of Americans seem to agree.
About three in five adults in the US support vaccination requirements for employees, residents, or customers of employers; Company; Schools; and local, state and state governments, according to new data from a Morning Consult poll conducted July 22-24.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, only one in three unvaccinated respondents agreed that the federal government should issue a vaccination mandate, compared to more than three in four vaccinated respondents.
A similar gap in vaccination status was found among adults surveyed about employers' vaccination orders, along with differences by political party: only 38% of Republicans supported employer vaccination orders, compared with 76% of Democrats, a documented and growing partisan divide in COVID-19 reflects vaccination rates in the US
When asked about the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, which has become the dominant strain in the U.S., 73% of respondents said they were concerned, including about eight in ten people who were vaccinated and 58% of those who were not vaccinated.
The results of the 2,192 adult survey were released after California and New York City announced government officials would get vaccinated or get weekly virus tests.
The Department of Veterans Affairs also announced a vaccine mandate for health workers on Monday, and President Biden said Tuesday that a mandate for all federal workers is "under consideration".
Some hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and universities have already put their own COVID-19 vaccine requirements in place, and K-12 school districts could be the next frontier for employer vaccination mandates, MarketWatch previously reported.
Related: "You have to do the right thing": 50 health groups are asking employers to prescribe COVID vaccines for workers – but one major obstacle remains
While many employers have so far refused to make vaccinations mandatory for workers, the U.S. Equal Opportunities Commission guidelines in December, along with a June court ruling confirming the vaccination mandate of a Texas hospital system, laid a foundation for employers to do so want dog sticks over carrots.
Workers seem more likely to get vaccinated when their employer gives them time to get the vaccinations or recover from side effects, and when employers promote vaccination, according to a survey published in June by health think tank Kaiser Family Foundation became. However, six out of ten workers in this survey said they would not want their employer to leave a mandate.
Coronavirus vaccinations in the US stagnated despite several companies and states trying to increase vaccine intake through incentive programs. Approximately 49% of the total US population was fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, including 60% of US adults.
Meanwhile, the number of cases in the US has deteriorated in recent weeks, with unvaccinated parts of the country making up much of the prevalence. The vast majority of COVID-19 deaths and hospital admissions are now among unvaccinated people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC issued new masking guidelines Tuesday, recommending that even vaccinated Americans resume masking indoors in public in areas with "significant or high" COVID-19 transmission rates and that students in K-12 schools regardless of their vaccination status Wear masks.