Jobs Requiring Workers to Get the COVID Vaccine 

Carly Woodfield, Staff Writer

It has gotten to the point in the pandemic where many people are now eligible to get the COVID vaccine. What that means is many people are heading back to work and school, and some normalcy is returning. Many people are ecstatic about the vaccine and are already fully vaccinated and maskless, but many people are still skeptical and waiting to get the vaccine. With all adults being able to get fully vaccinated with doctors approval, many jobs are giving bonuses, or some may call this bribes, to workers who have decided to get vaccinated. Also, some jobs and schools are requiring the vaccine to be able to attend. This may seem like a great step forward, but has actually led to some controversy and, in extreme cases, job loss due to failure or refusal to get the vaccine. So, what are peoples opinions about jobs requiring vaccines in the workplace? 

Through gathering the thoughts of some students at IHS, there are many opinions regarding if jobs should be requiring workers to get the covid vaccine. Junior Sienna Tremblay thinks, “Jobs shouldn’t require workers to get vaccinated because it should be the workers choice if they want to be vaccinated or not.” Many people also think likely with Tremblay on this  because usually jobs don’t have input on what you do with your body so this should be a choice as well like other things regarding your own body is your choice. Even though getting vaccinated or not can affect your body and others health, it should still be a choice and not forced on people. Senior Ana Limon Garcia shared her thoughts about this as well, saying, “I think jobs should require vaccines because it makes everything much safer with being around many people in the workplace.” Limon Garcia has a good point. With many people being vaccinated this is making the environment more COVID friendly and is making many people feel safer being out in the public and getting back to normal. I think many people are in between the thoughts that requiring vaccines should be a must versus a personal choice. 

With certain jobs requiring their workers to become vaccinated, there are many benefits to come with this, yet there are also some conflicts surrounding this. I asked freshman Ella Doan to share how she thinks requiring employers to get vaccinated in the workplace could be beneficial: she said, “It’s beneficial so the entire workplace is safer, it can help lower covid cases, and eventually lead to more fully open states.” Doan is hard to argue with. I think everybody likes the idea of having a safer environment and the states to open. Many people now are feeling much safer about going out knowing the chance of getting sick with the vaccine is a lower rate. On the other hand, Doan says she believes on the conflicting side requiring vaccines could “bring up legal issues.” Doan has a good point; there are some legal issues that can occur when requiring all workers to get the vaccine. Sophomore Rebecca Perez also agreed that requiring vaccines in the workplace is a good thing that will be advantageous. Contrarily, Perez says some downsides to requiring the vaccine are “if the vaccine didn’t work and people began to get sick from it that would be bad if it caused reactions to people. Also, religion.” These are good points, if many people begin having bad reactions to the vaccine, then cannot work that does not help the problem and just creates another level of issue. Religion is definitely a big factor when requiring people to get vaccinated. This goes against many people’s beliefs and could be seen as discriminatory if people have issues with not wanting the vaccine for religious reasons. 

Following, opinions and thoughts are shared about what people should be excused from getting the vaccine. Collectively, Doan, Garcia, and Perez all said that medical reasons such as allergies, cultural/religious reasons, and overall health wise issues like medical conditions are all valid reasons a person should have so that they are not required to get the vaccine. 

Furthermore, do people think it should be the workers’ decision to get vaccinated or not? Doan expresses, “I think so, it would also be good if workplaces had benefits if you decide to get vaccinated, but I don’t think it’s realistic to require it.” Doan is spot on, and many places are giving benefits to workers deciding to get vaccinated, yet it would be great if everyone could be vaccinated and life could go back to normal. It is just not realistic to force everybody to do something for various reasons. Perez, Tremblay, and Garcia similarly responded that it should be workers’ own decisions because it is their body and their right. The “my body, my choice” statement is a big reason many places are not requiring the vaccine and just suggesting it, when people lose control of the rights of their body that is when conflict spikes. 

Taking a closer look at what some companies are doing is very interesting, and the ranges of extents companies are going to is really all over the place. A hospital in Houston Texas, for instance, is going to extremes when people refuse the COVID vaccine, “Those who fail to comply will at first be suspended without pay, and later terminated, a hospital spokeswoman says.”  This extreme thing of having workers fired over not getting vaccinated can be seen as very controversial and not equitable for people who are unable to get vaccinated for personal reasons. Furthermore, “After Houston Methodist announced its mandate, Dr. Boom says he received hate mail from people outside of the organization, and some employees expressed frustration. Some staffers may choose to leave the organization instead of getting a shot, Dr. Boom says, though he predicts the vast majority will comply” This is a perfect example of the rise of frustration the vaccine mandate gets out of people. Is people losing their jobs over a vaccine really worth it and morally right? 

People are truly losing their jobs in some cases when refusing to get the vaccine. Losing jobs is a very big deal and affects more than just the person losing their job but also the company losing employees and the families of the now unemployed. Zooming in on a personal experience with this issue and why she is not complying, “Texas nurse Jennifer Bridges plans to go to work on June 7, like it’s any other day. The only difference is, when she gets there she expects to be fired. ‘There is just not enough research out yet,’  she said in an interview. ‘To be a fully approved vaccination it takes years of trials and research. And this thing has been out for less than a year’”. It is clear that there is a lot of frustration and concern regarding whether getting vaccinated is right for some people, yet is it justifiable to fire someone over doing something they do not want to do with their own body? Perez says “No, definitely not.” Losing jobs over a vaccine is not worth it. 

Most companies having vaccines being optional still can be benefitted and are bribing their workers to do so. For example, at Kroger grocery stores, they “will offer employees a $100 bonus once they can show proof of inoculation. Employees who can’t get the COVID-19 vaccination for medical or religious reasons can earn the $100 bonus by completing an educational course”. Kroger has good benefits to the bribe that many people would be incentivized by. Also, another supermarket named Lidl is “offering all of its employees $200 in extra pay if they get a COVID-19 vaccination”. Overall, bribing has become a very good way for companies to get their employees vaccinated in efforts to make them safer and their customers as well. 

All in all, jobs requiring vaccines is a very complex and opinionated thing. Many people getting vaccinated in the workplace has seen to be a tricky thing, yet most people are complying. In general, people are in high hopes and enjoy being able to return to work, and if getting vaccinated to do so is all it takes, the majority will. This is inching society to becoming safer and moving away from many COVID cases and scares.