Vaccine mandates more popular than vaccine passports
There's much higher public support for government-imposed vaccine mandates than businesses' use of "vaccine passports," even if they're called something else, according to recent surveys by the COVID States Project.
Why it matters: Private businesses are increasingly responsible for making pandemic policy, but this polling suggests that it'd be much more popular for the government to take the stronger role, at least when it comes to vaccine requirements.
By the numbers: 62% of respondents said they somewhat or strongly support local, state or federal governments requiring everyone to get a vaccine.
- Even higher percentages supported vaccine mandates for getting on an airplane or going back to university.
- On the other hand, much fewer said they support vaccine "passports." The survey asked different versions of the question, but the results didn't change much based on wording, whether the question explicitly mentioned the term "vaccine passport" or not.
- On average, only 27.5% of respondents said they support businesses using vaccine passports. Slightly more people support voluntary — versus required — use of passports by businesses.
What they're saying: "It seems like the public is more comfortable with mandates when they’re characterized as coming from the government," said Matthew Baum, a Harvard professor who was an author of the project.
- "When you put businesses into the question as the responsible party ... support is just a lot lower."