Health

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they don’t want unvaccinated people to return to the office

A growing number of Americans support workplace, lifestyle and travel restrictions for those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, a new poll found.

Conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, the survey found six in 10 Americans want to work for an employer who requires everyone be immunized against coronavirus vaccine before returning to the office. 

Additionally, most respondents believe vaccinated people should not be allowed to travel on airplanes. 

The poll’s results suggest the pace of vaccinations may pick up as more vaccines become available and more people want them.  

A new poll found 60% of Americans want to work for an employer ‘who requires everyone to get a coronavirus vaccine before returning to the office

It also found 55% said unvaccinated people should not work out at public gyms, enter movie theaters or attend public concerts. Pictured: A patient is vaccinated against COVID-19 in Los Angeles, California, March 2021

It also found 55% said unvaccinated people should not work out at public gyms, enter movie theaters or attend public concerts. Pictured: A patient is vaccinated against COVID-19 in Los Angeles, California, March 2021

For the poll, 1,005 U.S. adults aged 18 and older were surveyed online on Monday and Tuesday.  

Altogether, 54 percent of respondents said they were ‘very interested’ in getting vaccinated.  

That was up from a January survey, when 41 percent expressed the same level of interest, and 38 percent in a May 2020 poll before a vaccine was even developed.

About 69 percent of Democrats said they were very interested in getting a COVID-19 shot as did 45 percent are Republicans.

Interest in the vaccine increased over the past year among whites and racial minorities, with about six in 10 whites and five in 10 members of minority groups now expressing a high level of interest. 

Twenty-seven percent of Americans said they were not interested in getting vaccinated, which was relatively unchanged from a similar poll that ran in May.

Surveyors also found that 62% don't believe unvaccinated people should be allowed to travel on airplanes

Surveyors also found that 62% don’t believe unvaccinated people should be allowed to travel on airplanes

When it came to political parties, 25 percent of Republicans and seven percent of Democrats

But foreshadowing the social challenges that may emerge as the U.S. begins to pull out of the yearlong pandemic, the latest poll showed a majority of Americans want to limit the ways in which unvaccinated people can mix in public.

Seventy-two percent of Americans said it was important to know ‘if the people around me have been vaccinated,’ according to the poll.

A majority, 62 percent, said unvaccinated people should not be allowed to travel on airplanes. 

Fifty-five percent agreed that unvaccinated people should not work out at public gyms, enter movie theaters or attend public concerts.

When asked about the workplace, 60 percent of Americans said they wanted to work for an employer ‘who requires everyone to get a coronavirus vaccine before returning to the office’ and 56 percent thought unvaccinated workers should stay home. 

Companies could soon feel increasing pressure to address those concerns. 

About 19 percent of the U.S. population has already received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and President Joe Biden said in a televised speech on Thursday night he would direct states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1.

Dr Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said the poll responses made sense, given the social restrictions placed on everyone over the past year.

‘People are saying: “If I’m vaccinated, it’s going to change my life,”‘ Adalja said. 

‘And if you’re not vaccinated, that’s your choice. But you’re going to be in a different status because you might be a carrier of this virus, so you could spread it to another unvaccinated person.’

The poll results were somewhat split along party lines. Republicans, who have been generally less concerned than others over the past year about the coronavirus, were also less supportive than Democrats of workplace and lifestyle restrictions for the unvaccinated, according to the poll. 

Yet even among Republicans, four out of 10 said they supported keeping people without vaccines from going to gyms or movie theaters. 

Five in 10 Republicans think vaccines should be required for airline travel. 


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