Connecting state and local government leaders
Most workers report they are fully vaccinated, but a surprisingly large percentage have no intention of getting the vaccine.
More than two-thirds of state and local government employees who responded to a survey reported that they were fully vaccinated against Covid-19. But more than 20% had not received even a single dose of the vaccine—sometimes for surprising reasons.
In the survey, 70% of respondents said they were fully vaccinated. Another 6% reported they were partially vaccinated, and 22% were not vaccinated.
Of those in the unvaccinated group, 22% said they will likely or definitely get the vaccine. But 48% said they likely or definitely would not. And 29% were undecided. When the people in the likely not/definitely not/undecided group were asked to list the reasons why, 64% said concern about side effects was a factor, and 37% said they needed more information about the vaccine.
But the next-largest factor, cited by 33% of the vaccine-resistant group of government employees, was “lack of trust in the government.” Compared to similar surveys in 2019 and 2020, trust in state and local leaders has held relatively steady. “For federal government leaders, on the other hand,” the report said, “trust jumped from a low of 29% in October 2020 to 49% in May 2021, a level of trust nearly equal to trust in state and local government leaders.”
The findings are included in a new report issued by MissionSquare Research Institute and based on a national survey conducted by Greenwald Research in May of 1,203 full-time state and local government employees.
“To ensure that state and local governments have a resilient workforce that can respond to the current challenges and those that lie ahead, it is critical to understand how the public sector workforce views vaccines, their perceptions of the impact of Covid-19 on their jobs and finances, and their outlooks on the short- and medium-term impacts of the pandemic,” the report stated.
Of those workers who are vaccinated, by far the largest factors in their decision were concerns for their health and that of friends and family members. The freedom to travel without worry was another reason cited by a large number of vaccinated respondents, ahead of a sense of community responsibility or patriotism.
The report indicated that state and local governments have pushed their employees to get vaccinated. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said their employer had strongly or somewhat encouraged them to get the vaccine, while only 22% said their employer had been neutral. A small number reported that their government has provided incentives for getting the vaccine (8%) or mandated it (5%). And 45% strongly or somewhat agreed that government employers should mandate that their workers be vaccinated.
For more information from the survey click here.