KFF study finds one in four workers required to get COVID-19 vaccine

Nov. 3, 2021

With the federal government moving to require large employers to require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for unvaccinated workers, the latest Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report finds a quarter (25%) of workers say their employer has a vaccine requirement, up from 9% in June, according to a news release from the organization.

In addition, about a fifth (21%) of workers say that they want their employer to require vaccinations even though they don’t, while about half (51%) say they don’t want their employer to require it.

Despite widespread news reports of employees leaving their jobs due to workplace vaccine mandates, 5% of unvaccinated adults (1% of all adults) say they left a job because an employer required them to get vaccinated. A larger share (24%) of adults say they know someone who has a left a job due to a vaccine mandate.

When unvaccinated workers are asked what they would do if their employer required them to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, 11% say they would be most likely to get the vaccine, nearly half (46%) would opt for weekly testing, and over a third (37%) say they would be likely to leave their job. This represents 1% of all adults who would get the vaccine if faced with an employer mandate and 5% who say they would leave their job.

If their employer did not offer an option for weekly testing, the share of unvaccinated workers who say they would get the vaccine increases to 17% (2% of all adults) and the share saying they would leave their job increases to 72% (9% of all adults).

About 6 in 10 unvaccinated workers (59%) say they would be likely to apply for an exemption if their employer implemented a vaccine requirement, including 27% who would apply for a religious exemption and 16% who would apply for a medical one.

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