Construction workers are hesitant about COVID-19 vaccine

February 10, 2021

A recent survey shows construction workers are among the least likely employees to say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if one were offered to them, according to www.constructiondive.com. The results may emphasize the challenges contractors will face getting their workers vaccinated.

Data research firm Morning Consult surveyed 16,970 employed adults between October 2020 and January and concluded essential, frontline workers who cannot work from home and are at higher risk of exposure also were among those who were most hesitant regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

Although willingness to get the vaccine ranges as high as 77% for workers in higher education, just 53% of construction workers said they would willingly get the shot. The construction worker group was fourth from the bottom in industry rankings, ahead of retail, transportation and food and beverage workers.

In 2020, after the first successful vaccine trials were announced, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled employers could require workers to get the vaccine, with certain exceptions. A week before that ruling, during a webinar hosted by the Associated General Contractors of America, construction lawyers also said contractors could require workers to get vaccinated. However, expecting pushback from construction employees at that time, they also recommended contractors strongly encourage workers to get the vaccine rather than adopt a mandatory approach.

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