Eight in 10 older Americans think health care workers should be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new poll.
Among 50- to 80-year-olds, 61% of respondents said the vaccine should be required for all health care workers. Another 19% said vaccination should probably be required. The remaining 20% oppose mandatory vaccination, the findings showed.
The results are from a nationwide poll taken in August prior to a federal push to require vaccinations for nearly all health care workers whose employers accept Medicare and Medicaid -- an estimated 17 million people.
"As our country tries to get the coronavirus under control, it's important that health care employers and health providers hear the voices of those who are most likely to turn to them for help," said Dr. Preeti Malani, an infectious disease doctor at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor who directs the National Poll on Healthy Aging. "Those voices, overwhelmingly, are saying, 'Please get vaccinated to protect your patients and yourself.'"
Even as the federal vaccination requirement takes shape, many health care employers have been weighing requirements for their workers.
Providers at Veterans Health Administration hospitals and clinics, and in all branches of the U.S. armed forces are already subject to a requirement. Eleven states have banned vaccination mandates, according to a news release from the University of Michigan.
The online poll was conducted as part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging. Responses are based on a representative sample of 2,157 older adults.
To find a vaccine near you, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, Sept. 10, 2021