According to an Axios/Ipsos survey released last week, public concern with the COVID-19 pandemic has resurged with the rapid spread of the Delta variant. Among the unvaccinated, approximately half now express an openness to the vaccine. Among this group, half say an employer requirement or a modest incentive would convince them to get the shot.
Meanwhile, hundreds of major companies have announced new policies to require vaccinations for all or part of their workforce, adding to the millions of federal workers now required to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular COVID-19 testing. Many businesses have gone even further, requiring customers to show proof of vaccination. We’re tracking the latest developments to help you understand how businesses across the country are responding.
To Require or not to Require?
The spread of the Delta variant is causing Americans to question returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of activity. This may have economic implications as consumers become more reluctant to engage in indoor activities like shopping, dining, going to movie theaters and more. More than half of Americans (52%) now believe returning to pre-COVID activities to be risky—up 24 points from late June.
Here are three ways your business can respond:
1. Revisit your company’s vaccine policy.
Many employers have been hesitant to institute a COVID-19 vaccination requirement until the FDA provides full authorization of COVID-19 vaccines. However, the U.S. Department of Justice and legal experts have issued guidance saying that employers can require vaccination. Recent research shows that employer encouragement and paid time off have significantly strengthened vaccine uptake among adult workers.
What you can do:
Consider a vaccination requirement. Use our interactive Decision Tool to help you create your company’s vaccine policy.
Unsure about a requirement? Consider removing other barriers to vaccines for your employees and their family members. Our partners at the COVID Collaborative offer specific recommendations for creating a #COVIDSafeZone at your workplace.
2. Continue to share facts about vaccine safety.
A majority of unvaccinated Americans report significant concerns about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
What you can do:
Inform your employees about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. We’ve developed a series of videos and communication resources to help you engage in thoughtful conversations about vaccinations—recognizing that safety concerns are real and that engagement and dialogue with trusted community members is important.
3. Support working parents who want to vaccinate eligible children.
Six in 10 parents now say they’re eager to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, the highest share since Axios/Ipsos began surveying parents. But significant barriers remain for many working parents who want to vaccinate eligible children.
What you can do:
From hosting family vaccine clinics to providing paid time off for working parents to attend vaccination appointments with their children, employers can remove barriers and make it easier for working parents to protect their children and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. Together with our partners at the American Academy of Pediatrics, we’ve created an Employer Toolkit and a Social Media Toolkit to help you share facts and support working parents who want to vaccinate their children.
New tax credits are available to offer PTO to employees who take their kids or other family members to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and care for them if they suffer from side effects.