With the Pfizer vaccine being rolled out across the country this week and the Moderna vaccine expected to be authorized for emergency use in the coming days, some workers are looking at mass vaccinations as the only way to guarantee their safety at work.
Nearly half of workers (49%) believe employers should require employees to get vaccinated, according to a survey by Arlington, Va.-based consulting firm Eagle Hill Consulting.
Also, if subsequent vaccinations are required, a quarter expect their employers to foot the bill.
Men, younger workers more open to vaccine mandate
Men (53%) were more likely than women (44%) to support the idea of requiring employees to get vaccinated. Also, younger employees were most supportive of the mandate, according to the research.
Workers were also practical about the subject, recognizing that vaccinations can be costly.
While the federal government will pay for the initial round of vaccinations, it’s unclear who would pay if additional vaccinations are required in the future.
A previous ValuePenguin study found that more than half of Americans were unsure whether their health insurance would cover coronavirus treatment. Americans may also be grappling with other questions, such as how the pandemic could affect homeowners insurance rates.
When asked who should pick up the tab for any vaccinations following the initial round:
- 38% said the federal government
- 25% said employers
- 25% said insurance providers
- 8% said state or local governments
- 3% said employees
Nearly 1 in 4 workers (24%) believe employers should require regular COVID-19 tests. A larger percentage (46%) believe employers should simply encourage workers to get tested.
More than half of respondents (54%) believe employers should pay for any testing that they require employees to undergo, such as if they have been exposed to someone at work who has COVID-19.
Workers say a vaccine alone isn’t enough
Even after the vaccine is widely available to workers, employees still expect their employers to take additional safety precautions, the survey found.
However, survey respondents were mixed on whether employers should require employees to take certain actions to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission in the workplace or merely suggest that employees take certain actions.
Masking is the No. 1 requirement workers want to see:
- 53% believe masks should be required in the workplace
- 32% believe employers should encourage the use of masks
Temperature checks were the next most popular measure:
- 44% want employers to require them
- 34% believe employers should encourage them
When it comes to social distancing, 40% of respondents believe employers should require it, while 45% believe it should simply be encouraged.
More than a quarter of workers (26%) support the idea of their employers requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used in the workplace, while 38% are in favor of employers encouraging the use of PPE.
Methodology: Eagle Hill Consulting commissioned public opinion firm Ipsos to survey 1,005 workers across the country between Dec. 4 and 8, 2020.