Almost 75 percent of unvaccinated workers to quit if companies make vaccines required – survey
A survey found that almost three-fourths of unvaccinated employees would quit if companies require the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. According to the poll, only a measly 16 percent of unvaccinated workers would get the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey came amid different employers in the U.S. mandating the shot for their workers after Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine was granted full approval.
The poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News had 1,066 adult respondents. They were interviewed between Aug. 20 and Sept. 1, 2021. According to the WaPo–ABC News poll, only 16 percent of unvaccinated respondents would get the COVID-19 vaccine if their employer requires it. Meanwhile, 42 percent said they would quit their jobs while 35 percent said they would ask for an exemption on medical or religious grounds.
But in the case a medical or religious exemption is not available, 72 percent of respondents said they would resign. Only 18 percent of respondents said they would still get injected with the vaccine despite a lack of exemption.
On the other side of the fence, more than half of U.S. employers said companies will have some sort of COVID-19 vaccine requirement by the end of 2021, The Hill reported. A survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson (WTW) said 52 percent of the more than 950 employers it asked plan to have one or more vaccine requirements for their employees. Some of these requirements included restricting access to common areas for vaccinated workers and mandatory injections for every employee.
WTW conducted the poll from Aug. 18 to Aug. 25, 2021. It found that nearly a third of businesses plan to make vaccination a requirement to gain access to workplaces. Furthermore, it found that 21 percent of businesses are considering vaccination as a condition of employment. Almost 60 percent of businesses were tracking their employees’ vaccination statues, with 19 percent expected to follow suit. Up to 80 percent of respondent firms said they would require unvaccinated employees to mask up in indoor settings, with 13 percent to adopt similar measures.
An earlier August 2021 poll conducted by Fox News reflected customers’ preference for employees to be vaccinated. Its survey found that 44 percent of respondents were more likely to visit establishments with vaccinated employees or workers who test negative for COVID-19.
The vaccine mandates have compromised first responders
Given that private entities already required employees to get vaccinated, public entities also followed suit and mandated government workers to get the COVID-19 shot. Seattle radio station KTTH 770 reported on Sept. 6 that more than 200 Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers may be terminated for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. The department already lost 300 officers as a result of calls for defunding following the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan put the mandate in place, adding that city workers who refuse the COVID-19 vaccines are to be terminated. “Full vaccination against [COVID-19] is a condition of employment, regardless of one’s age, risk factors or prior infection,” the city said. Durkan gave an Oct. 18 deadline for city staff to be fully vaccinated. While religious and medical exemptions would be offered, it remained unclear if Seattle will accommodate these.
KTTH host Jason Rantz noted that just over 200 SPD officers said they had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or had refused to turn over their private medical data. The 200 officers comprised roughly 20 percent of the department’s deployable staff. “The SPD, already stretched dangerously thin, cannot stand to lose any more officers,” he said.
However, some law enforcement officers in Seattle believe the COVID-19 vaccine is not necessary for them to do their job. Others say they have been in the field for more than a year without any vaccine. Some other SPD officers argue that the government has no right to obtain data on people’s private medical decisions and that the government has no business at all on the matter.
The Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, which represented officers in the SPD, began negotiating with city leaders on the matter. “We are hopeful that terminations will not be necessary and all unvaccinated employees choose to get vaccinated,” a spokesperson for Durkan said.
New York cops threaten to sue over vaccine mandates
While the SPD officers went to the negotiating table with Durkan, the largest union of police officers in New York City has threatened to sue Mayor Bill de Blasio over his vaccine mandate. Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch said the union will protects its members’ right to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lynch said in an email obtained by the New York Post: “If the city attempts to impose a vaccine mandate on PBA members, we will take legal action to defend our members’ right to make such personal medical decisions.” He added in the same email that the city “has not indicated whether it will attempt to impose vaccine mandates on other city workers, including police officers.”
According to local NYC news outlets, unvaccinated New York City Police Department (NYPD) members were required to wear face masks at all times in both indoor and outdoor settings. Officers who fail to comply with the mask mandates could face “disciplinary action,” an NYPD bulletin said.
Only 47 percent of the NYPD’s uniformed and civilian workforce were vaccinated against COVID-19, according to recent data. Back in January 2021, NYC unions lobbied for cops to get priority positions in the city’s vaccination drive. However, NYPD officers themselves had doubts when it came to the COVID-19 vaccine – leading to less than half of its employees getting the shot.
Last year, NYC Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said officers would not be required to get inoculated against COVID-19. However, he appeared to have walked back on his statement by saying that he would “one hundred percent” support a vaccine mandate. “Everyone … all across this country really should be embracing these vaccines,” Shea said.
The commissioner noted that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine already received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. “I think everyone [not yet vaccinated] should be lining up to get it,” he continued. Sixty NYPD employees had already succumbed to COVID-19.
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