Most People Support Vaccine Mandates in Schools and Workplaces as Delta Variant Spreads

A majority of parents and employees support vaccine mandates when returning to in-person work and learning, according to new research from Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management (XM) category. The new studies found that 51% of parents support requiring proof of vaccination for children attending K-12 school and 60% of employees would be supportive if their employer required vaccines for in-person work.

Even as COVID cases surge, getting employees back in the office and students back in classrooms is a priority for many, after a year of hybrid learning and virtual collaboration. But not all agree on the safest way to make that happen.

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Among parents heading into another school year, 61% support requiring masks in the classroom. Conversely, nearly a quarter (24%) of parents would consider pulling a child out of school if they are required to wear one.

As companies contemplate new work policies, vaccine rules could ultimately be the deciding factor on whether some workers decide to stay at a company or go, with almost a quarter of employees (23%) saying they would strongly consider leaving their place of work if their employers mandated vaccines.

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“If these decisions were cut and dried, you would see everyone adopting the same policies,” said Karla Fisher, chief industry advisor for education, Qualtrics. “It’s not easy for any educator or employer to balance such extreme competing priorities. Generally, people have the same goal: to keep people safe and productive. The better data and insights we have into people’s experiences, the closer we can get to policies that serve everyone.”

Key takeaways from Qualtrics study:

  • Parents are divided on masks: 61% of parents support requiring masks for children attending K-12 school while nearly a quarter (24%) of parents would consider pulling a child out of school if they are required to wear a mask, and another 11% are unsure.
  • A majority of parents plan to vaccinate their children: About half of parents (52%) say they will vaccinate their kids when the vaccine is approved for those under 12. Additionally, 31% of parents rank vaccine mandates for students and teachers as their top safety priority
  • Tech employees most likely to support vaccine mandates:  Tech workers are among the most supportive of vaccine requirements at work with 75% saying they support vaccine requirements (vs. 59% retail and 58% government)
  • Respondents largely support vaccine mandates for public events: More than half of respondents support vaccine requirements for people on airplanes, people attending large public events, higher ed students attending classes/living on campus and kids attending K-12 schools. Respondents were even more likely to support requiring masks than showing proof of vaccination for these activities

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