Will COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Extend to Booster Shots at Work?

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A survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, reveals only 45% of Americans believe employers should mandate COVID-19 booster shots months after initial vaccines.

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With U.S. President Joe Biden announcing mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for employees at larger companies last week, businesses may soon face another hurdle in the coming months—deciding whether to require vaccine boosters as initial shot efficacy begins to wane.

Nearly half of Americans (45%) think employers should require workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot when the time comes. This is according to a new survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Thirty-five percent do not believe it should be a requirement, but rather a recommendation. The remaining 20% of those polled said businesses should stay out of it completely, neither advocating for or against the booster shot.

Groups more likely to agree with the booster mandate at work include men (49%), those with a household income of at least $100K (53%) and college graduates or higher education (57%).

Notably, older adults, age 65+, are more likely than younger adults to favor the requirement (57%), while those ages 18-34 are most likely to say employers should recommend, but not require, the booster (40%).

In another recent survey from The Harris Poll, the vast majority of Americans who are already vaccinated (82%) say they are likely to get a coronavirus booster shot. But, a little over half of the respondents added the need for booster shots has impacted their confidence in the vaccine they already received.

Express franchise owners across the nation say initial vaccines were already required by some clients in industries such as food manufacturing/packing, hospitality and senior living communities. One franchisee added that multiple local businesses have mask mandates in place, but with the tremendous labor shortage, clients stand to lose several employees by requiring any COVID-19 shot.

Furthermore, the Express franchisees do not anticipate COVID-19 booster vaccine mandates by businesses any time soon for reasons such as employee hesitancy to first and second shots, uncertainty about the efficacy of the boosters and worries about exacerbating the worker shortage.

Health officials recommend booster shots 8 months after receiving one of the mRNA vaccines. The Biden administration announced last month that these would be available the week of September 20, pending clearance from the Federal Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Aug. 31 – Sept. 2, 2021, among 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+ in the U.S. Data was weighted where necessary bring it into line with actual proportions in the population.

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If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bill Stoller to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena (Karami) Hollander, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

About Bill Stoller
William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing company has more than 830 franchises in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Since inception, Express has put more than 9 million people to work worldwide.

About Express Employment Professionals
At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, employing 526,000 people globally in 2020. For more information, visit http://www.ExpressPros.com.

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Sheena Hollander
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