POLITICO-Harvard poll: Americans sharply divided over vaccine mandates


The survey results suggest Biden’s caution is warranted, said Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, who designed the survey.

“An important point to remember from the survey is that in these [Republican-leaning] regions, it will be very slow to get these people to agree to be vaccinated, ”he said. “There is a culture in a part of the country that is very resistant to the government telling people how to live their lives. “

Even the president’s suggestion that his administration would go door-to-door to promote the vaccine drew a swift rebuke from the Conservatives, some of whom have raised the specter of the federal government by keeping a list of unvaccinated Americans who ‘he would target soon. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday sought to reassure Americans that such a database does not exist after he said his comments on the government’s interest in ensuring people get vaccinated had been taken “extravagantly out of context”.

The growing gap between vaccination warrants and passports reflects the gap in vaccination status. Democrats are much more likely to be vaccinated, according to several polls. Each of the 20 states where more than half of the population has been fully vaccinated voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

Several Republican governors over the past two months, eager to show they don’t impose vaccines on the public, have signed legislation or issued executive orders banning vaccine passports, though about a third of Americans don’t really understand. the term, according to the poll.

Republican officials, Blendon said, clung to a term that appeared in the media before there was a common understanding of what a vaccine passport was.

“Someone decided that would be a cute name,” he said. “A passport is something that most people only carry if they want to go abroad.”

Yet, with the government administering less than 400,000 doses per day for the first time since late December, Pressure is mounting on the FDA to grant full approval to Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines, a move that could make it easier for employers and local governments to demand vaccination.

But most employers don’t seem willing to make this move. While some like Walmart, General dollar, Aldi and Instacart offer rewards if workers get vaccinated, few plan to require the vaccine, according to one May survey from Willis Towers Watson.

Blendon suspects that companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses looking to hire people in a tight labor market, won’t have much choice given that more than half of U.S. employees oppose a tenure on work place. The survey did not examine the effect of incentives such as gift cards or allowances on employee choice, although Blendon speculated that it might help.

There was bipartisan support for immunization of teachers and health workers. The survey found that 70 percent of respondents – and 56 percent of Republicans – with school-aged children believed public schools should require teachers to be vaccinated. Likewise, 66% of those surveyed – and 59% of Republicans – preferred health facilities requiring their employees to be vaccinated.

There was also broad support for requiring proof of vaccination before boarding flights or cruise ships, which Blendon suspected because the settings require people to be in and near each other. Most Americans have objected to having to be vaccinated to attend a sporting event or enter a store.

The results match other spring polls that found Americans split between employer and preschool mandates. It will likely take the emergence of an even more heritable and dangerous variant to change attitudes, especially around children, Blendon said.

“If cases among children appear and children are hospitalized in much greater numbers, you might see those numbers change,” he said. “People need to see it, they need to know that children are in their neighborhood hospital because they haven’t been vaccinated.

Among Americans who died from coronavirus last month, more than 99 percent have not been vaccinated, according to federal health officials.

The survey found much more consensus on whether the government should allow the importation of cheaper drugs from foreign countries. Almost 80 percent said it should be legal for Americans to buy drugs in Canada and more than two-thirds supported importation from the European Union and Britain. The purchase of drugs in Mexico and Japan also received strong support from all political circles. Only the import from China made people think about it, with 61% opposition.

But Blendon said the key is overwhelming support from the EU and the UK, which have large manufacturing industries. He speculated that the numbers were supported by the success of Covid-19 vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.

“The idea that we are moving approved and safe vaccines around the world has led a lot of people to say that we could probably move pharmaceuticals too,” Blendon said.

The survey interviewed 1,009 adults from June 22-27. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.


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