To hear many Republican politicians tell it, there's broad public opposition to vaccine requirements. The latest polling report from Gallup tells a different story.
Majorities of Americans now favor requiring people to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to travel by airplane, stay in a hotel, attend events with large crowds, dine in a restaurant and go to their office or work site.
Gallup specifically asked respondents, "Would you favor or oppose businesses requiring people to show proof of coronavirus/Covid-19 vaccination in order to do the following over the next several months?" The findings included:
- 53 percent support requiring proof of vaccination to eat at a restaurant.
- 53 percent support requiring proof of vaccination to stay in a hotel.
- 56 percent support requiring proof of vaccination to go to work at an office or work site.
- 58 percent support requiring proof of vaccination to attend events with large crowds.
- 61 percent support requiring proof of vaccination to travel by airplane.
The results are notable in their own right, but just as important is the shift in public attitudes over time: In nearly every category, the percentage of Americans expressing support for vaccine requirements has increased since the spring. (The exception refers to workplace requirements, but that's only because Gallup didn't previously poll the question.)
Indeed, in some instances, public attitudes have flipped. In April, for example, Gallup found that a narrow majority opposed vaccine requirements to stay in a hotel, and now those numbers are reversed. Similarly, in April, 60 percent were against businesses requiring proof of vaccination before allowing people to eat at a restaurant, and now a narrow majority has the opposite position.
To be sure, Gallup's findings don't point to overwhelming majorities. What's more, there are predictable divisions over partisanship and vaccination status.
But the fact remains that for months, more than a few Republican leaders have insisted that the public opposes vaccine requirements. "Vaccine passports," despite their anodyne history, somehow became an ugly slur in conservative circles.
The latest independent polling, however, suggests policymakers who want to side with the American mainstream should endorse more vaccine requirements, not fewer.