August 4, 2021

How Americans feel about vaccine mandates, charted

Daily Briefing

    Almost two-thirds of Americans said they support federal, state, or local governments implementing a Covid-19 vaccine mandate, a number that's increased since April and May, according to a survey from The COVID States Project.

    Is America's coronavirus future 'good,' 'bad,' or 'ugly'? It's all three

    Support for vaccine mandates in the U.S.

    For the survey, researchers surveyed 20,669 individuals throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia between June 9 and July 7, then compared the responses to data collected earlier this year between April and May.

    According to the survey, 64% of respondents said they support federal, state, or local governments requiring everyone to get a Covid-19 vaccine, up from 62% who said the same in April and May. In addition, 61% said they support a vaccine mandate for children to be allowed to attend school in person, 66% said they support a vaccine mandate for students to go to university, and 70% said they support a vaccine mandate to board an airplane.

    The survey also found that respondents ages 65 and over were the most supportive of a vaccine mandate, followed by those ages 18 to 24.

    When the data was broken down by race and ethnicity, the researchers found that 80% of Asian American respondents, 70% of Hispanic respondents, and 68% of African American respondents said they support a vaccine mandate, compared with 62% of white respondents.

    The survey also found a majority of respondents in all but three states (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) said they support vaccine mandates.

    Unsurprisingly, according to Matthew Baum, a public policy professor at Harvard University and an author on the survey, vaccinated people were more likely to say they support a vaccine mandate, while the majority of those who said they "strongly disapprove" of a mandate were unvaccinated.

    Vaccine mandates become more common

    Despite growing support for vaccine requirements, federal officials have stated that there are no current plans to implement a nationwide Covid-19 vaccine mandate, The Hill reports.

    For instance, on Friday, Karine Jean-Pierre, White House principal deputy press secretary, said "a national vaccine requirement is not under consideration at this time."

    Similarly, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday clarified remarks she had made earlier that a nationwide vaccine mandate was "something that I think the administration was looking into." In her clarification, she said there would not be a "nationwide mandate," and that her earlier remarks referred to "mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government."

    And in fact, according to Axios, several large companies have instituted vaccine requirements in some form since May, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined it was legal for employers to require employees receive Covid-19 vaccines. Those companies include, but are not limited to:

    • Ascension Health
    • BlackRock
    • Facebook
    • Google
    • Lyft
    • Morgan Stanley
    • Netflix
    • Saks Fifth Avenue
    • Twitter
    • Uber
    • The Washington Post
    • Walmart
    • The Walt Disney Corporation

    (Owens, Axios, 7/30; Williams, The Hill, 7/31; Gonzalez, Axios, 7/30)

    Is America's coronavirus future 'good,' 'bad,' or 'ugly'? It's all three.

    looking aheadSince February, Advisory Board's Brandi Greenberg has been tracking three ways the U.S. coronavirus epidemic could end: the "good," the "bad," and the "ugly." But new data, she says, has forced her to revise her expectations about what Covid-19's future will look like—for America and for the world. 

    Read the latest take

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