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Three quarters of the inhabitants of Mass.  support the universal mandate of the vaccine



“It seems to me that the big takeaway is this: if our leaders are ready to go, a substantial majority of the public would be ready to follow.”

Priya Sarin Gupta administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Bladimiro Sanchez, 66, outside an MGH vaccination van during a teenage mini-festival at La Colaborativa pantry in Chelsea in October 2021. (Nathan Klima for the Boston Globe)

The numbers are there: Most people in Massachusetts support a universal vaccination mandate.

According to a survey by the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States – which includes researchers from Harvard and Northeastern universities – 75% of adults in Massachusetts want to see a universal vaccine mandate. Support is also high for more targeted mandates: 81% support a mandate for settlers, 71% want a mandate for children returning to school, and 78% support one for students.

“We are well above the national average,” said Matthew Baum, professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School and one of the study’s authors. The Boston Globe. “Our level of assistance is one of the highest of the 50 states in almost all cases.”

Nationally, the aggregate numbers are about ten points lower: 65% support the universal vaccine mandate, 71% support a mandate for air travel, 63% are for a school mandate, and 68% support a mandate. student. Six in ten respondents are also in favor of large companies being vaccinated or tested regularly for COVID-19.

“It seems to me that the big takeaway is this: if our leaders are ready to go, a substantial majority of the public would be ready to follow,” Baum told the World. “Rather than paying a political price, you will probably reap a political reward if you are prepared to implement these kinds of policies in many circumstances. “

However, it is according to the parties that the support is the most varied. According to the survey, 10 of the 11 most favorable states lean towards the Democrat, while the 18 least favorable states lean towards the Republican.

“The majority of respondents – in most cases large majorities – support every term we polled in almost every partisan and demographic subgroup we studied,” the authors noted. “The notable exception is Republicans, less than half of whom support an overall mandate (43%), or smaller mandates for children attending school in person (41%), returning to college (47% ), or for employees of large companies. (35%). A slim majority of Republicans (51%) support requiring vaccines to get on a plane. “

Baum told the World vaccination had become politicized and “in this case it became more polarized than any other public health issue in my life”.

The researchers measured public opinion on immunization mandates over the summer and noted that support had increased slightly by about one to two points nationwide.

The consortium has been conducting rounds of surveys since April 2020 to determine public behavior and opinion on a number of issues regarding COVID-19. More than 21,000 people, including 453 people in Massachusetts, responded to the most recent survey, which was conducted between August 26 and September 27. People could indicate whether they strongly approved, somewhat approved, strongly disapproved, or somewhat disapproved of a vaccine. Terms of Reference, and approval responses have been aggregated to obtain figures in support of the Terms of Reference.