Being classified as “essential workers” along with medical personnel assured construction professionals what we do is valued. We are valued. But even though we were among the first to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, the percentage of construction workers getting the vaccination remains low.
Promoting Vaccinations Among Construction Professionals
Construction companies that want their workers to be vaccinated have their work cut out for them. –Construction Dive
Not only do contractors and project managers face challenges in promoting COVID-19 vaccinations, but author Robyn Griggs Lawrence says their skepticism is “raising alarm bells for public health officials.” Researchers are trying to understand what’s behind construction workers’ reluctance to get the vaccination. They say until we can understand and address construction professionals’ concerns, we cannot effectively promote vaccination.
Basically, U.S. construction workers say they don’t trust the vaccine and they don’t trust our government. Some of them believe the misinformation they read online. Many believe the rush to get the vaccine out of the lab and into our arms means the developers may have cut corners, making the vaccine unsafe.
Construction professionals are usually young and healthy, and the majority believe the vaccine is unnecessary. One-third of the unvaccinated population believe they have to pay for the shots, which are free to everyone.
Then there’s the political side of the pro- and anti-vaccinators. The blue states had higher vaccination rates than the red states. Poll results indicate 91% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans were willing to get the vaccination.
Cultural, Political Objections Prove Difficult to Overcome
The mindset challenges to the COVID-19 vaccination are cultural and political. That’s a difficult mix to overcome. With the exception of religious or medical reasons, not getting the vaccination is proving to be problematic.
Already, the Delta variant is spreading faster among unvaccinated populations. This can lead to another labor shortage for construction companies if we can’t persuade our employees to get vaccinated.