Health

Following Supreme Court’s Decision to Nix Federal Vaccine Requirement for Private Workers, More Than 1 in 2 Adults Say They Back Mandates by Employers

Findings come as employers weigh whether to issue their own requirements

Brandon Trosclair, a supermarket owner from Louisiana, speaks to reporters on Jan. 7, 2022, after attending the Supreme Court arguments regarding his lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate. The high court struck down Biden’s vaccine-or-test requirement for large private employers. According to Morning Consult data, 56 percent of U.S. adults support COVID-19 vaccination requirements from employers. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

After the Supreme Court last week struck down the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test requirement for large private businesses, new Morning Consult polling shows that more than half of adults are in favor of vaccine mandates from employers.

What you need to know

  • Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults said they back COVID-19 vaccination requirements from employers, down from a high of 61 percent in September, just after the White House announced its mandates for private workers, federal contractors and health care personnel. Since then, public support has remained relatively flat.
  • The public has consistently been more likely to favor vaccine mandates from schools and the federal, state and local governments than from employers, while it’s about equally likely to support requirements from businesses.
  • The Supreme Court’s decision to block the federal vaccine-or-test requirement for private employers with at least 100 workers threw the future of such mandates back into question, and companies are now grappling with conflicting state and local rules. Some companies, like General Electric Co., have already paused their COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandates, while places like New York City are implementing their own rules for private workers. The court did uphold the administration’s vaccine requirement for health care workers at facilities that get federal funding.

What you need to know

  • More than half of private-sector workers, notably, are in favor of employer vaccine mandates, while nearly 2 in 5 oppose them. Remote workers were even more likely to support the requirement, at 66 percent.
  • Adults who are already vaccinated are much more likely than those who haven’t gotten a COVID-19 shot to say they back employer vaccine requirements, 69 percent to 23 percent, while the gap between Democrats and Republicans is roughly the same size.
  • The findings underscore the politicized nature of the COVID-19 vaccination drive. Republican-leaning states led the pushback to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, with federal judges in Missouri and Louisiana blocking the employer requirement before it went into effect because they said the administration lacked the authority to issue such broad mandates.
  • Separate Morning Consult data indicates that Republicans are also more strongly opposed to getting vaccinated, with 27 percent saying they have no plans to get a shot compared with 9 percent of Democrats.

 

The Jan. 13-14, 2022, poll was conducted among a representative sample of 2,200 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

Morning Consult