Most Americans Support COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, Polls Show


  • Three recent polls show that a majority of Americans support vaccine mandates. 
  • The popularity of vaccine requirements has risen as the Delta variant surged.
  • Hardline opposition to getting vaccinated has fallen to a new low. 

Though Americans remain divided about vaccine mandates, poll after poll shows that their overall popularity is rising — particularly for workers in specific industries, like education and government.

Three surveys conducted between August 3 and September 15 — from CNN, Axios/Ipsos and Fox News — have all found the same thing. More than half of Americans support making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for participating in public life. Such mandates have gained favor during the period Delta infections have surged. 

Among the three polls, the Axios/Ipsos survey found the highest support for vaccine mandates among the general population, with 60% of respondents saying they supported vaccine mandates. In CNN’s poll, 51% voiced support. In Fox News’ poll, the most recent of the bunch, 54% of respondents did.

Democrats like mandates more than Republicans do

Italy is one of the countries requiring a COVID-19 pass for travel.

Stefano Guidi/Getty Image


Democratic survey respondents were more likely to say that requiring proof of vaccination for everyday activities outside of the home, such as attending a concert or going grocery shopping, was an acceptable way to raise the vaccination rate.

In CNN’s poll, 80% of Democrats said they supported mandates, compared with 44% of Independents and 23% of Republicans. The survey, conducted by the independent research company SSRS between August 3 and September 7, relied on a nationally representative group of more than 2,000 adults.

The Axios/Ipsos survey, which was conducted between September 10 and 13, found that more than 80% of Democrats support the Biden Administration’s federal mandate that businesses with 100 or more employees require them to be vaccinated or get tested weekly. But support for those measures fell to roughly 60% among independents and 30% among Republicans. The poll included a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 adults.

Americans want teachers and government workers to be vaccinated

johnson & johnson vaccine

Army medics fill syringes with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Orlando, Florida, April 10, 2021.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


The Fox News poll, conducted between September 12 and 15, found that among more than 1,000 registered voters, 54% said they supported cities requiring proof of vaccination in order to participate in indoor activities. By contrast, 44% said they opposed such vaccine mandates.

The percentage of respondents who said they supported vaccinations rose four percentage points since a prior Fox News poll conducted in early August. In that survey, 50% said they supported vaccine mandates.

Respondents to the Fox poll were more enthusiastic about vaccine mandates for frontline workers: 61% said they supported vaccine mandates for teachers. For government workers, 58% were in favor of mandates, and 55% were in favor of workplace requirements that employees to be vaccinated. The poll also found that 56% of respondents supported the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees.

The CNN poll similarly suggested that Americans are warming up to vaccination requirements in workplaces and schools: 54% of respondents said they approved of those requirements for in-office workers, and 55% supported them for students attending in-person classes. 

In the Axios/Ipsos poll, too, 57% of working Americans said they supported their employer requiring vaccination.

Strident opposition to vaccination has fallen to a new low

Between April and August, hardline resistance to COVID-19 vaccines has steadily declined, Axios/Ipsos found.

In the spring, 19% of respondents to an Axios/Ipsos survey said they were “not at all likely” to get vaccinated. By the end of August, that group had shrunk to 14%, and 72% of respondents reported that they’d already been vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 64% of the US population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 55% were fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After a slight uptick in vaccinations at the start of September, when the CDC reported a seven-day average of more than 954,000 vaccinations per day, the number had fallen to an average of about 761,000 per day as of Tuesday. That’s down from an average of more than 3 million vaccinations per day during the April peak.

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