Young people demand vaccination requirements for reopening
Three-quarters of people between 18-29 say vaccination should be required to return to campus or work, according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling, and 37% would refuse to come back unless those conditions are in place.
Why it matters: Young workers have put pressure on CEOs to take action on social and political issues and have plenty of capital to exert it on reopening policy.
The polling suggests that a "get the shot" ultimatum could be pretty effective.
- Among the young people polled who aren't vaccinated, 66% said that if it was required to return to campus or work, they would get the vaccine.
- 15% would try to switch jobs or schools, while 13% would refuse to get the vaccine and still try to work or attend school.
- 2% said they would forge proof.
The big picture: 18-29 year-olds are the least vaccinated adult age group relative to their population size, though they've also been eligible for a shorter period of time.
- People between 18-29 face less risk of severe infection from COVID-19, compared to older adults.
Between the lines: With 1 in 4 workers planning to look for new jobs after the pandemic, companies will feel pressured to adhere to the preferences of workers.
- Those of young workers who have more flexibility to relocate or endure short-term unemployment could carry more weight.
By the numbers: 14% say they definitely would refuse to return to work or school without vaccine requirements, while 23% say they probably would refuse.
- Just 25% say they definitely wouldn't refuse.
What they're saying: "I live in a very red area and a lot of people are not getting vaccinated," one respondent said. "So I know if I were to return to campus, and vaccinations were not mandatory that 90% of people would not be vaccinated. So that means our campus would have an outbreak again."
Methodology: This study was conducted from May 5-8 from a nationally representative sample of 928 respondents 18-29-year-old respondents. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points. The Generation Lab conducts polling using a demographically representative sample frame of young people around the country, across educational, racial, political, geographic, gender and economic backgrounds.