Poll: Half of US workers favor shot mandate

An Associated Press poll found about half of Americans want to require COVID-19 vaccinations and mask mandates.

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August 26, 2021 - 9:31 AM

A health care worker receives their COVID-19 vaccination at the Westmead Hospital Vaccination Hub on March 1, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.

NEW YORK — Half of American workers are in favor of vaccine requirements at their workplaces.

It comes at a time when such mandates are gaining traction now that the government has given full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

That finding is from a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Overall, 47% of in-person workers are in favor, while 26% are opposed. That compares with 59% of remote workers in support of vaccine mandates for people working in person at their workplace. 

The sentiment is similar for workplace mask mandates, with 50% of Americans working in person favoring them and 29% opposed.

About 6 in 10 college graduates, who are more likely to have jobs that can be done remotely, support both mask and vaccine mandates at their workplaces, compared with about 4 in 10 workers without college degrees.

Christopher Messick is an electrical engineer who is mostly working from home in Brunswick, Maryland. He wrote to his company’s human resources department to ask employees get vaccinated before they are recalled to the office.

“I don’t want sit an office for eight hours a day with someone who is not vaccinated,” said Messick, 41. “The people who are anti-vax, I see them as selfish.”

Some 73% of Black workers and 59% of Hispanic workers — who are more likely than white workers to work in front-line jobs — support mask mandates at their workplaces, compared with 42% of white workers. In addition, 53% of Black and Hispanic workers support vaccine mandates at their workplaces, along with 44% of white workers. 

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe is opening COVID-19 vaccinations to those 14 and older and only allowing fully vaccinated people to eat in restaurants.

Zimbabwe will start administering vaccines to teens between 14 and 17, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced. The country is already offering shots to those 18 and older. This makes Zimbabwe one of the first countries in Africa to extend vaccinations to children.

The nation is beginning to see a reduction in numbers of infections and deaths following a deadly resurgence, driven mainly by the delta variant. Schools will reopen on Aug. 30 for students scheduled to take exams to graduate from primary school, high school, or college, while the rest of the pupils will return to class on Sept. 6, the information minister said after a Cabinet meeting.

Restaurants can reopen for sit-in customers who show proof they are fully vaccinated, she said. 

Close to 2.5 million Zimbabweans, about 16% of the population of 15 million, have received one dose, according to health ministry figures. More than 1.5 million people, or 10%, are fully vaccinated. Zimbabwe one of the most highly vaccinated countries in Africa, where less than 5% of the continent’s 1.3 billion people have received one dose.

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TOKYO — Japan is suspending use of about 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccine after contamination was found in some unused vials. 

The health ministry says the contamination was reported at multiple vaccination sites. Some doses may have been administered but no adverse health effects have been reported. The doses were produced in Spain. 

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