Despite having higher rates of mortality during the pandemic, construction workers are among the least open to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Data research firm Morning Consult surveyed 16,790 employed adults between October and January to find the likeliness for each industry member to receive a vaccine if offered. On average, 56% of all employed adults would accept the vaccines, reports Construction Dive. Americans employed in higher education were the most likely to accept the vaccine at 77% and food and beverage workers are the least likely at 47%. Just 53% of construction workers surveyed would be vaccinated if offered, making it among the bottom four industries.
Last year, after the first successful vaccine trials were announced, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which oversees employee rights in the workplace, ruled that employers could require workers to get the vaccine, with certain exceptions. A week prior to that ruling, construction lawyers during a webinar hosted by the Associated General Contractors of America also said contractors could require workers to get shots.
But in anticipation of pushback from construction employees at that time, they also recommended that contractors strongly encourage workers to get inoculated, rather than adopting a mandatory approach.
“Come up with a policy that says we expect all of our employees to take the vaccine,” said attorney D. Albert Brannen, a partner at Atlanta-based Fisher Phillips.