Two-thirds of likely U.S. voters oppose firing workers who resist taking the novel coronavirus vaccine even as vaccination mandates from President Biden and Democratic governors begin to take effect, found a poll released Wednesday.
The Convention of States Action poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group showed that 65% of likely voters “do not believe Americans should lose their jobs if they object to taking the COVID-19 vaccine,” while 22% believe the unvaccinated should lose their jobs. Another 12.8% were unsure.
Convention President Mark Meckler said the “message here is clear: your livelihood should not be put at risk because you don’t want the vaccine.”
“Washington, D.C., is making it clear the mandates are not about immunity but about conformity,” Mr. Meckler said in a statement. “As our own government continues to release conflicting info about the effectiveness of vaccines and the benefit of natural immunity, more and more Americans are standing up against the forced vaccination of American workers.”
The poll showed opposition to terminating unvaccinated workers was strongest among Republicans at 83.%, followed by independents at 63.6% and Democrats at 47.9%.
Mr. Biden announced on Sept. 9 that federal workers must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, while at least six states require health care workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or face termination, with no opt-out for testing negative, according to LeadingAge.
The deadline for New York healthcare workers to be vaccinated was Monday, which prompted Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign an executive order to address anticipated staffing shortages with potentially thousands of employees still unvaccinated.
The vaccine mandate was credited with fueling a surge in vaccinations among workers in New York. The percentage of nursing home staff receiving at least one vaccine jumped from 70% to 92% after the requirement was announced on Aug. 15, according to the governor’s office.
In addition, the percentage of fully vaccinated hospital staff rose from 77% to 84%, while adult-care facilities employees receiving at least one vaccine increased from 76% to 89%.
So far 64.9% of the U.S. population 12 and older has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but Mr. Biden has led the push for mandates as the rate slowed.
“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Mr. Biden said last month when announcing the plan for federal mandates.
The poll was conducted from Sept. 17-19 with 1,097 likely U.S. voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.96%.