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Are Vaccine Mandates Causing High Rates of Unemployment?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

The question of one’s vaccine status is becoming more and more prevalent as the world tries to overcome the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and people return to their workplace. The pressure is on for businesses to hold up their end of the bargain in exchange for their employees: safety in the workplace. This puts them in an awkward position, forcing them to choose between implementing a vaccine mandate or letting people make the decision for themselves.

Since many are on opposite spectrums of the COVID-19 vaccine debate, it has become quite controversial when businesses, and even cities, require the vaccine. Despite such controversy and backlash, the fact is that many businesses are opting to require vaccines. Workers have to make a choice. While some are choosing to comply, others are threatening, or flat-out choosing, unemployment. Are vaccine mandates working?

It seems to depend on the field of work, but sources like NPR seem to think so. NPR’s data of several Texas hospitals show they are in fact working, with a whopping 98 percent of people receiving it in several facilities. They also analyzed the employees of United Airlines and found that 99.5 percent of employees received the vaccine. On the other hand, though, CNN did a survey and found that 72 percent of unvaccinated workers vow to quit over vaccine mandates. The New York Post also did a survey that recorded 37 percent of workers vowing to quit in the same circumstances. However, although these surveys display relatively high percentages, CNBC reports that only five percent of unvaccinated adults have actually quit their job over it. This is supported by the findings of NPR that show although so many are threatening to quit, less than half actually follow through with it.

There is not enough data yet to necessarily conclude that mandatory vaccines have led to high numbers of unemployment, but it can definitely be said that it has led to unemployment. We see this in all of the surveys done, as well as in some specific states. NPR gathered unemployment data from Washington and reported that, in response to the mandate, 1,900 employees have been fired or quit. Therefore, whether one believes people should get the vaccine or not, it cannot be denied that there has been a loss of jobs.

Despite everyone’s personal opinions, the question here really is not whether you believe people should be required to get it or not. Rather, it is at what cost are people willing to stick to their guns? If it is from a business perspective, at what cost are they willing to risk their business from an economic standpoint? From an individual perspective, at what cost are they willing to risk their health, either wanting to get the vaccine or refusing to get it? Or maybe it is all worth it. Maybe there is no cost worth more than personal health. Only time will tell. These are trying times for people all over the world as they try to make the best decision for themselves.

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a nursing major with a passion for writing :)!!