One percent of adults say they've left job due to vaccine mandate: KFF poll

One percent of adults say they've left job due to vaccine mandate: KFF poll
© Associated Press - Lynne Sladky

One percent of all adults in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll said they’ve left a job due to COVID-19 vaccine requirements as more workplaces institute mandates. 

The KFF Vaccine Monitor for October released on Thursday determined that out of unvaccinated adults, just 5 percent left their jobs because of the requirements, “despite widespread news reports” of workplace vaccine mandates driving resignations. 

Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to report knowing someone who left their job due to a vaccine mandate, with almost a quarter of all adults saying they know someone who's quit.

ADVERTISEMENT

A quarter of workers reported their employers instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate — an increase of 16 percentage points since June. 

About a fifth of respondents said they want a workplace vaccine requirement, while about half said they do not want a mandate, including majorities of Republicans and unvaccinated workers. 

The vaccine requirements come as the Biden administration moved forward with its plan to institute a vaccine-or-test mandate for all employers with at least 100 employees. 

Almost half of unvaccinated workers, 46 percent, said under that type of mandate, they would opt for weekly testing. Eleven percent said they’d most likely get the vaccine while 37 percent, representing 1 percent of all adults, said they would leave their job. 

But without the weekly testing option, a majority of unvaccinated workers, at 72 percent, said they would quit their jobs, representing 9 percent of all adults. Seventeen percent said they would get the vaccine in that situation, amounting to 2 percent of all adults. 

Sixty percent of unvaccinated employees said they’d apply for an exemption if their workplace instituted a vaccine mandate.

ADVERTISEMENT

Overall, the vaccination rate remained the same as in September, with 72 percent of respondents saying they have gotten the vaccine, matching the leveling off of the country’s vaccination rate. 

The KFF Vaccine Monitor surveyed 1,519 adults Oct. 14-24. The margin of error overall was 3 percentage points and 6 percentage points among the unvaccinated.

Several companies across the country have instituted these controversial mandates, including United Airlines, which said 99 percent of its workforce got vaccinated by the deadline last month, leaving almost 600 workers to face termination. 

Tyson Foods achieved a vaccinated rate of more than 96 percent days before its Monday deadline, the company announced earlier this week. 

Biden administration officials have consistently praised mandates as effective in boosting the vaccination rate, citing earlier this month that businesses and organizations that implemented vaccine requirements saw an at least 20 percent increase in vaccinations. 

But opponents consider the vaccine mandates as government overreach and a violation of their constitutional rights.

Concerns over mandates fueling resignations have also sparked anxiety that such requirements could exacerbate the shortage of workers in several industries.