Millions of Americans Say They’d Quit Their Jobs to Avoid Lifesaving Vaccine

Nearly a third of Republicans surveyed said they knew someone who chose to quit rather than get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Oct 28 2021, 2:33pm

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A new poll indicates that an alarming number of American workers would rather quit their jobs than comply with a vaccine mandate.

About 5 percent of American adults said that if their employer required them to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, they would quit, and that number rises to nearly one in 10 if a weekly testing option isn’t offered, according to the survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation

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The hesitancy is, unsurprisingly, driven almost entirely by currently unvaccinated workers. Among that group, just one in 10 said they would get vaccinated while nearly half would go for the testing option, with 37 percent saying they’d quit their jobs, the survey found. If no weekly testing option was offered, as is now the case for some government workers in places like New York City, more than 70 percent said they’d quit their jobs.

While less than a quarter of those surveyed said they knew someone personally who left a job because of vaccine mandates, nearly a third of Republicans said they knew someone who chose to quit rather than get vaccinated, KFF found.  

More than two-thirds of all eligible Americans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and nearly 80 percent have received at least one dose, according to the CDC. The country has seen an increase in vaccinations coinciding with the Delta surge, the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, and the beginning of vaccine mandates

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But these new findings indicate that, though they make up a small share of the population, millions of Americans would rather find a new job than comply with a vaccine mandate that could save their lives and those of the people they work and live with.

Among the unvaccinated refusing to get vaccinated even in the face of mandates, police officers have been some of the loudest—even though COVID-19 has been by far the biggest killer of police officers in 2020 and 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page tracker

New York City’s vaccine mandate begins Friday, and New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday that more than a quarter of the NYPD’s 50,000-plus employees are unvaccinated. A late effort by the New York City Police Benevolent Association to stop the mandate was rejected by a Staten Island judge Wednesday

Earlier this week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—a leading Republican opposing vaccine mandates—said he wants to give $5,000 bonuses to cops who quit over vaccine mandates to move to Florida. 

“NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you're not being treated well, we will treat you better here,” DeSantis said. “You can fill important needs for us, and we will compensate you as a result.”

Tagged:

police, NEW YORK CITY, bill de blasio, firefighters, covid vaccines

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