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The FDA has announced full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, paving the way for more businesses to mandate vaccines for their employees and customers. And in a new survey of consumers conducted exclusively for Ad Age, The Harris Poll finds that such mandates could be a marketing boon for brands in some industries. 

Travel, retail are poised to benefit from mandates

Over half (54%) of Americans say they’re more likely to fly with an airline that requires that its employees be vaccinated against COVID-19; and 52% say they’re more likely to fly with an airline that requires vaccines of its passengers.

Expectations for retailers are similar to those for travel brands, with over half of Americans (53%) reporting they’re more likely to shop in-store with companies that require vaccines of their employees; and about half (49%) say they’re more likely to shop in-store if customers are required to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, only about 2 in 5 (42%) say they’re more likely to exercise at a fitness center that requires its employees be vaccinated; while 43% say they’re more likely to exercise at a gym that requires vaccination of its visitors and members. 

Younger consumers are most likely to base purchase decisions on vaccine mandates 

The impact of vaccine mandates on potential purchasing behaviors is less pronounced — but still significant, especially for younger shoppers. 

Of all Americans, 43% say they’re more likely to buy from a brand that has required its employees to be vaccinated. And 56% of Gen Zers agreed, for brands focused on this segment, it’s key to reflect these values. 

Most Americans feel they have a right to know about companies’ vaccine policies

In our survey, the majority of consumers agreed they have a right to know whether a company requires vaccines of its employees — and overwhelmingly agree that brands should include this information in their advertisements. 

Seventy-six percent of U.S. consumers agree that companies who require employee vaccinations should make that fact explicit in its advertising, and 69% agree that consumers have the right to know whether or not a brand requires vaccinations of its employees.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Ad Age between August 13-16, 2021, among 1,028 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For more information on methodology, please contact Dami Rosanwo.

Download the full data tables here.

Lucas Strombeck

Author Lucas Strombeck

Lucas Strombeck manages public relations for The Harris Poll and its brand tracking software, Harris Poll Brand Platform. Drawing on his extensive background in data-driven storytelling, he works closely with Harris Poll researchers and media partners to connect the dots between consumer insights, market trends and headline news. Before joining The Harris Poll, Lucas was a senior manager at Walker Sands, where he led PR strategy for fast-growing B2B tech startups and SaaS companies -- primarily in the martech and ad tech space. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

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