55 Percent of Americans Support Vaccine Requirements to Return to the Office: Poll

A majority of Americans support companies requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to the office, according to a new poll.

The survey, which was released Tuesday by Axios/Ispos, found that 55 percent of Americans support a vaccine mandate to go back to work. However, that opinion was disproportionate across party lines, with 80 percent of Democrats supporting the measure, compared with just 30 percent of Republicans.

The survey also found that most Americans support local mask mandates for schools or indoor public areas while opposing state efforts to ban such moves. Overall, 69 percent of respondents support their local school districts requiring everyone to wear masks in schools, while 64 percent said they support state and local governments mandating that masks be worn in public areas.

However, the survey found that political affiliation plays a key role in whether people support COVID-19 mandates. In nearly every category, Republican respondents were much less likely to support the safety requirements, compared with their Democratic counterparts.

"This data shows that public policy and public health is continuously challenged by our politics today" and that "at the end of the day, it's all-politics-is-local," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, according to Axios. "This is why we're seeing so much conflict."

In a series of true-or-false questions, respondents were also asked whether masks have been shown to limit the spread of COVID-19 and whether the vaccine is more deadly than the virus. The poll found that Republican respondents were disproportionately more likely to answer incorrectly, or say they didn't know, than Democrats.

The survey was conducted from August 13 to 16 from a sample of 1,041 general population adults 18 or older. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Proof of Vaccine Sign
A new survey found that 55 percent of Americans support COVID-19 vaccine requirements to return to the office. Above, a sign at a bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans on Monday. Mario Tama/Getty Images

The survey comes as an increasing number of companies and governments are implementing coronavirus mandates to counter the spread of its highly infectious Delta variant.

Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of face masks indoors for all people—even those who are fully vaccinated—in areas where the virus is rapidly spreading. The CDC also recommended that all K-12 students should wear masks in school, regardless of their vaccination status.

The agency said earlier this month that the Delta variant now accounts for more than 90 percent of all new virus cases in the U.S. In the past 24 hours, the U.S. recorded 210,168 new cases and 686 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As the virus continues to spread, data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that one in five ICUs in American hospitals has reached or exceeded 95 percent of beds occupied.

Dr. Benjamin Linas, a professor of medicine at Boston University, told Newsweek that while it is difficult to predict when the latest surge could peak, the virus could be stopped much sooner by implementing safety measures.

"If we continue to press hard on vaccine while also implementing some basic mitigation—masking when indoors and in public—we can end this more quickly. If, however, we fail to implement any form of mitigation or control, the surge could continue. It is not a mystery how to end the Delta surge, but Americans are exhausted and there is little will to take action," he said.