While most Americans once backed requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to work in an office or enter a public space, barely one-third support the mandate now, according to a new poll by Monmouth University.
Though 50% of adults surveyed feel the pandemic will never end and be something we must live with moving forward, most (35%) believe it is time to drop requirements for face masks and vaccines, the poll found.
Public support for workplace vaccine mandates has dropped steadily from 53% in September 2021 to 46% in May 2022.
Even fewer people are in favor of masking and social distancing requirements, the poll found. Only 25% said they agreed with the measures, which is down 7 points from May. A year ago, 63% were for them.
The survey also found that only one-third of adults are planning to get the new bivalent booster shot.
During the original booster rollout, the number of Americans who either got the extra shot or were very likely to get it stayed between 51% and 56% — significantly higher than the 34% result for the new bivalent booster.
Overall, 21% think the public health emergency is over, while another 26% say it is not over yet but will end eventually. However, half of participating adults feel the pandemic is here to stay, according to the poll.
In analyzing the results, Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said, “You can understand the drop in support for mask mandates since people want to get on with their lives, but the decline in support for vaccine mandates is interesting. I think it might be because people continue to get COVID despite being vaccinated.”
“These results are a huge warning sign for health officials who say we may need to get annual COVID shots,” Murray said. “The public is not in the frame of mind for more COVID vaccines right now.”
Conducted by phone between Sept. 21 and 25, the survey, released Oct. 11, had 806 respondents and a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.