Most Americans against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, study finds

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In a new study, researchers found that most Americans do not want COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The research was conducted by a team at the Gallup Panel and the University of Pennsylvania.

In the study, the team did an online survey of 2,730 U.S. adults between Sept. 14 and 27.

Nearly 49% of respondents said they would “accept” a state mandate requiring children to be vaccinated in order to attend school.

But support fell to 41% when respondents were asked about a state vaccine mandate for all adults.

The findings suggest that broad mandates should be a last resort, says the team.

A mandate should be considered only if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, and if efforts to increase vaccine access and to engage in public health messaging prove unsuccessful in achieving the level of vaccine uptake necessary for community immunity.

The team also found that among the survey respondents, 88% were white and 54% were men. Democrats made up 41%; Republicans, 31%; and Independents, 25%. About 58% of respondents had a college degree.

In response to a series of vaccine-related questions, 61% said they would probably get vaccinated.

But percentages varied widely by political affiliation, with 77% of Democrats saying they planned to get the shot, compared with 44% of Republicans and 58% of Independents.

The survey also revealed a sharp racial divide: 64% of white participants said they would get the COVID-19 shot, compared to 44% of Black respondents.

While vaccine mandates for adults are legal in the United States, more adults (45%) opposed a state vaccine requirement than considered them acceptable (41%).

That dynamic flipped with respect to employer-enforced mandates: 48% were for them, 38% were not.

And while 38% said they opposed mandatory vaccination of schoolchildren, 49% said the idea was acceptable.

The team says many health care providers have been vaccinated, and they expect to see an increase in people reporting that they are likely to be vaccinated.

One author of the study is Emily Largent, a professor of medical ethics and health policy.

The study is published in JAMA Network Open.

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