Employees not given exemption prefer to quit job than get COVID vaccine, poll shows

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — New polling data shows there may be more vaccine hesitancy than we think.

An ABC News poll shows more than 70 percent of Americans would quit their job if their company required the COVID-19 vaccine.

This follows the full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

After ABC4 spoke with several Utahns Wednesday and looked over the polling data, it is not so much vaccine hesitancy as it is being told what to do.

Some people we spoke to said it may be a personal choice, but the consequences could be substantial. 

“At the end of the day, they still have a choice you can work for this company or not,” said social worker Heather Kelly.

An ABC News poll shows that if an employer put a vaccine mandate in place and if the employees were not given an exemption, 72 percent of Americans would quit their job. 

Companies around the country are toying with the idea of a vaccine mandate after the full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 shot and the fact that the Delta Variant continues to surge. even in Utah.

“I didn’t think it was a big deal,” said Kelly. “My initial response was I had already been vaccinated and I was like ‘okay, that’s fine,’ but I know there are people having issues with it.”

Kelly said the issue is people do not like to be forced to do something, and they’d rather have a choice.

“One benefit that we have living here is if you want to quit your job and you want to do that you can and that they are the ones that pay the consequence,” said Kelly.

The consequence could be severe.

A different ABC News poll shows vaccine hesitancy has eased but there is a high to moderate perceived risk of catching COVID-19.

From June 30 to September 1, it rose from 29 percent to 47 percent.

“I also think people just don’t want to feel mandated to do something,” said Foxley. “They want to have a personal choice to what’s going in their body so I can understand why people don’t want to be mandated to get the vaccine.”

Foxley, a Utahn, said this but also doesn’t understand those who would quit their job instead of getting the Covid-19.

“I think it seems like a little much,” said Foxley.

The Utah Covid dashboard shows cases in the state have risen more than 700 percent since June 1.

Also in that ABC News poll, when the employees were asked what they would do if they weren’t given an exemption to opt-out of the requirement, 18 percent of those surveyed said they would comply.

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