COVID VaccinesReturn to WorkMental Health

Most workers favor vaccine mandates, but a significant number still oppose them

August 18, 2021, 4:00 PM UTC

More than a third of workers are strongly in favor of employers requiring vaccines, but nearly just as many strongly oppose vaccine mandates. 

That’s according to a newly released Gallup poll of workers fielded in July. Overall, more workers support vaccine requirements than oppose them, but there are a number with strong views on either side of this debate.

Vaccine mandates have become a hot-button topic as many employers and schools have rolled out requirements in recent months after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance in May stating that companies can ask employees about their vaccine status and require they get vaccinated without violating HIPAA and other federal laws. 

Overall, about 9% of employees reported in July that their employer was already requiring vaccines in order to return to work, while 62% reported companies were encouraging but not requiring it yet. 

Yet as COVID cases have again surged in the U.S., many employers have rolled out vaccine requirements, including United Airlines, Facebook, Google, the NFL, and the Walt Disney Co.—not to mention many hospitals, health care systems, and government agencies. 

Several other companies have delayed their return-to-the-office plans amid the rising number of cases, including many of the biggest tech companies. AmazonApple, Google, Netflix, and Facebook have all announced in recent weeks that they will delay having the majority of their workforce back in the office by at least a month and, in some cases, until next year. 

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