Story at a glance

  • A Washington Post-ABC News poll asked unvaccinated workers whose employers have yet to impose a vaccine mandate what they were likely to do if being vaccinated was required.
  • The poll found 16 percent of unvaccinated workers would get the shot, 35 percent would ask for a medical or religious exemption and 42 percent would quit.
  • Without an exemption, 18 percent said they would comply and 72 percent said they would quit.

A new poll suggests a significant share of unvaccinated Americans may be resistant to COVID-19 vaccine mandates put in place by their employer. 

A Washington Post-ABC News poll asked unvaccinated workers whose employers have yet to impose a vaccine mandate what they were likely to do if getting vaccinated was required to go into the workplace. 

The poll found 16 percent of unvaccinated workers would get the shot, 35 percent would ask for a medical or religious exemption and 42 percent would quit their job. 

When asked what they would do if they weren’t given an exemption to opt out of the requirement, 18 percent of those surveyed said they would comply and 72 percent said they would quit. 


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Just 18 percent of respondents said their employer currently requires workers to be vaccinated, and about 30 percent of workers whose employers don’t have mandates are unvaccinated, according to The Washington Post

More than half of Americans surveyed, however, favored businesses requiring employees who go into the workplace to be vaccinated, with 52 percent supporting the idea and 44 percent opposed. 

The poll comes as more businesses are expected to put COVID-19 vaccine requirements in place after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted full Food and Drug Administration approval. 

A recent survey of 961 U.S. employers that employ nearly 10 million people found 52 percent of companies could have one or more vaccine requirements for workers by the fourth quarter of 2021. 

The Post-ABC poll was conducted by phone between Aug. 20-Sept. 1 among 1,066 U.S. adults with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. 

Editor's note: The headline of this story was updated on Sept. 13, 2021 to be more precise, it originally said 70 percent.


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Published on Sep 07, 2021