Most Americans support vaccine requirements amid GOP attacks, new poll says

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The majority of Americans support COVID-19 vaccine mandates in many cases, according to a new poll.

Despite loud GOP opposition to vaccine requirements issued by both private companies and the federal government, mandating the COVID-19 vaccine remains popular, with a CNN poll released Monday.

That survey found that 51% of Americans support requiring the COVID-19 jab for activities like going to work, shopping, or dining it a restaurant, saying it's "an acceptable way to increase the vaccination rate."

Higher numbers support vaccine requirements to participate in specific activities that are major fixtures of American life. For example, 55% of Americans support mandating that students get the COVID-19 jab to attend in-person classes — a 6-point jump from April, when CNN last surveyed the issue. Another 55% back requiring the vaccine to go to a sporting event or concert — up 8 points from April. And 54% support mandating workers get vaccinated before returning to the workplace, up 9 points from April.

Companies that have imposed COVID-19 vaccine requirements say they have seen major jumps in the number of vaccinated workers. Delta Air Lines' chief health officer said on Thursday that the company's decision to impose $200 penalties for unvaccinated workers led to a "huge" surge in the 20,000 unvaccinated employees getting the vaccine.

"Just within the two weeks of the announcement, we've seen nearly 20%, or one-fifth, of that 20,000 decide to get the vaccine,” Dr. Henry Ting said at a news conference held by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, according to a local media report. That surge means 78% of Delta employees are now vaccinated.

Tyson Foods saw an even bigger jump in vaccinated employees after announcing a mandate in August. Tyson employees who have at least one dose skyrocketed from 45% to 72% after the mandate was announced, according to a White House news release laying out President Joe Biden's vaccination mandate plan. In the early days of the pandemic, Tyson Foods saw massive COVID-19 outbreaks in their meatpacking plants that impacted the food supply chain.

Republicans, however, have railed against mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.

Even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has gotten in on the politicization of the mandates, tweeting in all capital letters Sunday night, "NO VACCINE MANDATES."

A number of GOP lawmakers and candidates have even used violent rhetoric in their opposition to the new requirements.

Of course, vaccine mandates have been part of American life for more than 170 years.

Both public and private schools require students to be vaccinated against several communicable viruses in order to attend schools. The U.S. military also requires service members to get vaccinated against a host of different viruses.

The GOP opposition to mandates has led to a sharp divide in support for the requirements among the political parties, according to CNN's survey.

CNN found that 80% of Democrats say mandates are "an acceptable way to increase the vaccination rate," while just 23% of Republicans say the same.

Public health experts say that the pandemic is now one of the "unvaccinated," with nearly all recent deaths from COVID-19 coming from people who did not get the jab.

A new study released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from the disease than those who are fully vaccinated.

"Looking at cases over the past two months when the Delta variant was the predominant variant circulating in this country, those who were unvaccinated were about four and a half times more likely to get COVID-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday at a news conference announcing the study's results, CBS News reported.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.