Coronavirus

Poll finds most Mass. residents support vaccine mandate for school children

The poll also asked respondents about mask requirements in schools.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

When it comes to vaccine mandates for workers in the public sector and children attending public schools, most Massachusetts residents support them, a recent poll shows.

The poll, conducted by UMass Amherst and WCVB from Nov. 9 to 16, shows that 50 percent of respondents “strongly” supported public workers who don’t have a medical or religious exemption being mandated to get the vaccine. Another 13 percent said they “somewhat support” the measure, while 10 percent said they were neutral, 5 percent “somewhat” opposed, and 21 percent “strongly” opposed.

The poll included 773 respondents, with 750 in the final dataset. The margin of error was 4.3 percent.

In terms of children ages 5-18 attending public school, most of those polled — 47 percent “strongly” and 12 percent “somewhat” — supported them being mandated to get the vaccine, again allowing for exemptions for health or religion. Another 12 percent were neutral, 6 percent “somewhat” opposed, and 22 percent “strongly” opposed.

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When it came to ending mask mandates in schools, respondents were more split. The question asked about ending “your local” mask requirement if at least 80 percent of students and faculty were vaccinated, which is the state threshold for doing so. Twenty-six percent “strongly” supported ending the mask mandate in that case, 22 percent “somewhat” supported it, and 21 percent were neutral. “Somewhat oppose” received 15 percent, “strongly oppose” 16 percent.

The poll also asked respondents if they were vaccinated, and the vast majority, 79 percent, were fully vaccinated, while another 6 percent had received one dose and 16 percent said they hadn’t received the vaccine.

For those who have children ages 5 to 11, 31 percent said they’ll “definitely” have their child or children get the vaccine, while another 10 percent said they “probably” will and 13 percent said their child or children had already received at least one dose. Twenty-two percent said their child or children will “definitely” not get it, and 9 percent said they “probably” won’t.

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