Employers require 1 in 4 US workers to get vaccinated, survey shows

Covid vaccine
The federal government has provided COVID-19 relief in numerous forms, from free vaccines to economic programs. Reuters
  • A quarter of workers surveyed said that their employer mandated vaccines, a rise on previous polls.
  • The data comes from KFF’s COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, which gauges public perception of vaccines.
  • Only five percent of unvaccinated adults polled said they had quit as a result.

One in four US workers polled in a new survey say their employer now requires them to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Kaiser Family Foundation survey, published Thursday, also found that 5% of unvaccinated respondents had quit their job after an employer insisted on vaccination.

The number of workers now required to get a vaccine shows a marked increase since earlier in the year, and offers an early indication of the response to vaccine mandates since President Biden last month announced measures requiring some employers to introduce them.

The same survey in September found that 19% of workers were required to be vaccinated, compared with 9% in June.

The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor gauges public attitudes towards vaccines. The non-profit polled a nationally representative sample of 1,519 US adults between Oct 14 and 24th 2021. Participants were randomly selected using cell and landline frameworks.

Despite 51% of respondents saying that they didn’t want their employer to enforce vaccines, few chose to resign in response, according to the survey. Only 5% of unvaccinated employees polled said they had quit as a result of a mandate – equivalent to 1% of all the adults polled. Of those surveyed, 24% said that they knew someone who had quit their job in response.

Given a choice between a vaccine or weekly testing, 11% said they’d rather receive the vaccine, and 46% said they’d opt for weekly testing. More than a third, or 37%, said they would consider quitting rather than do either.

In September, President Biden announced a six part plan requiring all federal employees and healthcare workers to get vaccinated. As part of the plans he also wants businesses with 100 or more employees or more to introduce mandatory vaccines or weekly testing.

Some workers who lost their job as a result of not getting a vaccine have complained of their treatment by their employer. Some have set up GoFundMe pages in order to make an income.

Some companies introduced legislation on their own. United Airlines has been mandating staff receiving the vaccine since August, CEO Scott Kirby told CNN that 90% of staff had shown proof of vaccination.