Workplace vaccine mandates might be the push unvaccinated Americans needed

One in four unvaccinated Americans now say they plan to get the coronavirus vaccine – a huge jump from earlier this month.

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  • Ben Meyerson Newsletter editor
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Coronavirus vaccine requirements are becoming more common for workers across the country – driven by President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that all companies with more than 100 employees must require workers to get the shot. So what are unvaccinated Americans going to do? New data from the Ipsos Coronavirus Consumer Tracker shows that for many, this may be the push they need to get vaccinated.

One in four unvaccinated people (22%) say they plan to get the coronavirus vaccine if their employer requires them to get one or face frequent testing – a huge jump from just the beginning of September, before Biden’s announcement, when only 5% of unvaccinated people said they would get one. This tracks with Delta Airlines’ real-world experience on workplace vaccine mandates, when a significant number got their shot after health insurance premium penalties were put in place.

  • One in five (18%) say they would quit and find another job if forced to be vaccinated or undergo testing, a drop from 31% earlier this month
  • One in three (32%) say they would figure out a way to not get vaccinated and still keep their job

This rapid shift is good news for companies who may have been wrestling with how to deal with hesitant employees, said Seth Traum, Managing Partner with Ipsos’ Strategy3.

“President Biden’s federal vaccine requirement has done the hard work for employers who feared a backlash from their workers if they mandate vaccine requirements,” Traum said. “Companies can now require vaccination for their employees without worrying about losing a significant amount of talent in this competitive employment market.”

Considering that the vaccinated are the vast majority of the workforce in most places, employers should be concerned with alienating them, as well. When asked how they would feel if their offices didn’t require masks, testing or vaccine requirements, nearly three in four vaccinated workers (70%) said they would feel uncomfortable or prefer to work remotely, and 16% would look for another job. Only one in three (36%) said they would feel comfortable.

So if workplaces require testing, who should pay for it? Overall, people lean toward employers (38%) or the government (35%), but a strong 27% think the unvaccinated workers themselves should pay. The vaccinated were eight times as likely to say “unvaccinated workers” should pay. 

While many companies have delayed their office returns, this data should make companies confident requiring vaccines – a decision that will benefit the health of their employees and their business.

The author(s)

  • Ben Meyerson Newsletter editor

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