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BY POPULAR DEMAND

Almost 70% of Americans want vaccine mandates

A firefighter holds a sign against mandates
Reuters/Mike Segar
Unpopular opinion
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published

With the omicron variant likely to become very common soon, and delta still spreading through the country, Americans are all for strict measures to control covid-19 spread. So long as businesses and public services don’t shut down, the vast majority of people in the US are in favor of all containment measures, including mask and vaccine mandates, according to poll of 2,200 Americans published last week by Morning Consult, a data analytics firm.

The most commonly supported measures are ensuring better ventilation and enforcing social distancing, the poll found. But more controversial measures, such as mask or vaccine mandates, still get the support of a comfortable majority of the population, showing people are taking the threat of the new variant seriously.

Vaccine mandates are widely supported

Vaccine mandates are supported by 68% of respondents, and only 17%—spread pretty evenly among age groups—consider them not important at all. Evangelicals, whites, Republican women, those making between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, and people living in rural areas were the least likely to consider a vaccine mandate important. However, even a majority respondents who are unvaccinated or say they unconcerned about omicron disagreed with the notion that a vaccine mandate wasn’t important at all (although only 36% in those groups thought it was important).

Americans overwhelmingly support travel bans on countries where omicron has been detected, despite the open condemnation of the measure by the World Health Organization and public health experts around the world. Respondents were also more likely to say they would continue to attend religious meetings (45%) or dine indoors (66%) than attending concerts (38%) or sporting events indoors (39%) in the next three months. Only 30% of responders said they would be comfortable traveling on a plane internationally in the next few months.

The survey also found that concern about the omicron variant is growing, and 70% of respondents say they heard some or a lot about it being isolated in South Africa and other countries, and only a minority (23%) said there was too much concern over omicron. This seems to have some impact on unvaccinated adults’ willingness to get vaccinated against covid-19: 30% said they would consider it as a preventative measure against omicron.

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