Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Coronavirus Update 5-5-2021: NFIB’s survey of small employers reveals some disturbing Covid vaccination trends

The National Federation of Independent Business just released the results of its most recent Covid-19 Small Business Survey. 546 businesses, all with fewer than 200 employees, provided their experiences on a variety of Covid related topics. The results that jumped off the page, however, were the two questions about the Covid vaccine.

Do you plan to get vaccinated for COVID-19? 

  • Yes, I already have: 51%
  • Yes, as soon as it’s available to me: 3% 
  • Yes, but not right away: 9%  
  • No, I don’t plan to get vaccinated: 37% 

Have you or will you encourage or require your employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine? 
  • Yes, require: 3%
  • Yes, encourage but not require: 46% 
  • Maybe or no answer: 5% 
  • No, neither: 47%

If 37% of individuals do not plan to get vaccinated, and 47% of employers do not plan to even encourage their employees to get vaccinated, we are in some deep viral trouble. Those numbers suggest that we may never reach herd immunity, which means that we might be forced to live with this deadly virus in perpetuity. The pandemic might become endemic, like the flu but with more deadly consequences.

With nearly 80% of the same businesses reporting sales revenue at a level less than their pre-pandemic level, and nearly 50% believing that their local communities will not return to a pre-crisis level of economic activity until 2022 or later, we need to do everything we can to get as many shots in arms as possible. If we want to eliminate masks, social distancing, and other Covid safety limitations, we need herd immunity. Vaccine hesitancy needs to become a vaccine frenzy. Otherwise, we'll be repeating these same surveys next month, next year, and beyond … except there may be fewer small businesses around to supply results.

So if you're not yet vaccinated, what are you waiting for? If you have concerns or hold conspiracy theories about the vaccine, I urge you to watch this week's episode of Last Week Tonight. John Oliver spends all of his time addressing your concerns and debunking those conspiracies, such as the safety of the vaccine (it's very safe), and whether the vaccine contains 5G transmitters implanted by Bill Gates (it most certainly does not). If you've been vaccinated, please urge those in your life who aren't to get vaccinated ASAP. To paraphrase Princess Leia a day late, we are our only hope. 

Or, just let John Oliver explain it best.
[T]o get anywhere close to herd immunity, we badly need to convince anyone who can be convinced. The question is, how do we do that? … The truth is, I’m not going to be able to convince the people in your life who are hesitant. The person with the best chance of doing that is you. So if you know someone worried, for whatever reason, and you want to convince them otherwise, do not show them this video. But maybe do try and use some of the information inside it to tell them yourself and when you’re doing that, try not to dismiss or judge them for having doubts.

* Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash