The vaccine requirement for workers has been a hot topic in the public since the vaccines were initially rolled out last December. Although many people thought that vaccine requirement is something that will never ever going to happen in practice, it looks like they were mistaken since some major companies already require their workers to get vaccinated. And many more are expected to follow.
The public, understandably, is highly divided over the vaccine mandates. It is clear that vaccines are helping especially keeping those fully vaccinated safe from severe condition, but regardless of that fact, even decent number of people who are already vaccinated believe that the vaccine should remain optional and not mandatory.
Another major issue for private companies is the thing that workers already let them knew that they would rather get fired than to get the shot. In a situation with workers shortage, companies still remain unsure how to roll out the vaccine mandate without losing their workforce.
However, a recent study shows that a decent number of private companies are considering to enforce vaccinate mandates since the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago. According to the most recent data released by Willis Towers Watson, it’s very likely that most of the private companies will enforce vaccine mandates at some point in the next few months, following Google, Disney and some other major companies who already enforced vaccine requirement.
According to the results of the study, majority of the companies (52%) said that they plan to enforce some kinds of vaccine requirement for their workforce by the end of the year. Not all of the firms confirmed that they are about implement full mandate. Some said that they might limit the unvaccinated to access certain areas in the companies like cafeterias.
The survey was conducted in the second part of August and more than 1,000 employers were featured in the poll. Willis Towers Watson representatives said these employers employ nearly 10 million workers combined.
“The delta variant has made employers take new actions to keep their workers — and workplaces — safe and healthy. We expect even more employers to institute vaccine mandates in the wake of FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine,” Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz, the population health leader at Willis Towers Watson, said in a statement.
“This is not an easy situation for employers to navigate,” Levin-Scherz added. “For instance, new policies such as tracking workers’ vaccinations can improve safety but also bring additional administrative requirements. At the same time, employers will continue efforts to encourage vaccination and communicate regularly with employees.”
In the last couple of weeks since the start of the Delta variant surge in cases, the CDC, health experts and the lawmakers have been urging the US citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The vaccination process slowed down during the early summer months, but since the number started rising again late July, the vaccination process improved all over the country.
“COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective,” the CDC states on its website. “Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.”
Breaking down the survey data further, some 29% of employers said they are planning or considering making vaccinations a requirement to gain access to the workplace, and some 21% are planning or considering vaccination as a condition of employment for all employees.
What is even more alarming for the vaccine hesitant people is the fact that currently, 59% of the employers said they are tracking their employees’ vaccination status and additional 19% are planning to start the same thing in the upcoming fall months.
Around 31% of employers are either offering or considering offering financial incentives to staff for getting vaccinated.