A new poll shows that a majority of Americans support a vaccine mandate, though a sharp partisan divide in support persists.
The poll, conducted by The COVID States Project and released by PureSpectrum July 30, found that 64 percent of respondents said they support the mandate, an increase from April and May, when 62 percent said they support it.
An even greater number of respondents—70 percent—said they support requiring the vaccine to get on an airplane. Fewer respondents said students should be required to take the vaccine.
Sixty-one percent of respondents said children should be required to get the vaccine to go to school, and 66 percent said college students should be required to be vaccinated.
The poll surveyed 20,669 people from all 50 states and the District of Columbia between June 9 and July 7.
The partisan gap in support for vaccine mandates “remains vast,” the survey report said. Democrats are nearly twice as likely to support a mandate, with 84 percent saying they do, compared to 45 percent of Republicans. 57 percent of Independents said they support a mandate. Both Democrats and Republicans increased their support for a vaccine mandate by three points.
There is also a significant gap between rural and urban attitudes toward a mandate, the report said. 73 percent of respondents form urban areas said they support the mandate, while 53 percent of rural respondents do.
Massachusetts and Washington D.C. had the highest number of respondents who support a mandate, at 81 percent. Wyoming reported the least support at 46 percent.
The increased support for a vaccine mandate comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S., driven by the highly virulent Delta variant. More than 122,000 new cases were reported Friday, compared to 15,977 a month earlier on June 30, according to data from The New York Times.
Just over half of Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to data from John Hopkins University.
However, some private businesses are requiring patrons to be vaccinated. At least 60 restaurant and bars in Seattle are requiring customers to provide proof of their vaccine before they can dine or drink indoors. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that officials may impose a vaccine requirement for diners who want to eat at restaurants in the city. Disney has also announced they will require all nonunion employees to get vaccinated against the virus.
Los Angeles will also require all city employees to either show proof of their vaccine or submit to routine testing.
Director of National Institutes of Health Francis Collins said on CNN Sunday that he supports businesses requiring customers to show proof of vaccination.
“As a public health measure, it would be good for more businesses to require vaccine credentials in order to have vaccinated customers,” he said.