Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Coronavirus Update 10-5-21: Would you rather? Get fired? Or get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Last week I asked a simple question on LinkedIn
If your employer is mandating the Covid vaccine, would you rather get fired or get the shot?
More than 1,500 people responded, and the results shocked me. 27 percent — that's more than one out of every four respondents — say that they'd choose termination of their employment over a jab of the Covid vaccine. 

That number astounds me because it paints a very different picture as compared to actual employer vaccine mandates we are witnessing play out in the real world.
  • United Airlines reports that only 593 of its workers face dismissal for not complying with the company's requirement to get a Covid-19 vaccine. That is less than 1% of its 67,000 U.S. workers.
  • North Carolina's Novant Health says that it has terminated approximately 175 of its employees for non-compliance with its mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program, also less than 1% of its total workforce.
  • Houston Methodist Hospital, which defended the first workplace Covid vaccine mandate lawsuit filed, only lost 153 of its more than 25,000 thousand employees, again less than 1% of its employee census.
  • New York City's schools reports vaccination rates of 99% for principals and 96% for teachers after its mandate took effect yesterday. It also reports a wave of 18,000 11th-hour vaccinations by otherwise hesitant employees.
How do I explain the disconnect between the 27% who say they'd quit versus the 1% that actually does quit? The Conversation, which ran a similar survey but with double the responses for "I'd quit," explain it thusly:
But while it is easy and cost-free to tell a pollster you’ll quit your job, actually doing so when it means losing a paycheck you and your family may depend upon is another matter.

And based on a sample of companies that already have vaccine mandates in place, the actual number who do resign rather than get the vaccine is much smaller than the survey data suggest.

I agree. There is a huge difference between saying you'll quit your job and actually quitting your job, especially when your ability to support yourself and your family is on the line. Morals and principles are one thing; unemployment and reality are another. 

Thus, while the 27% who say "no" in my survey is a wonderful academic exercise, I believe that the 99% percent reported by United Airlines, Novant Health, and Houston Methodist Hospital (and likely to be reported by the New York City schools when all is said and done) is much closer to reality. In other words, vaccine mandates work, period.