Health Highlights: March 11, 2021

Most Employees Want Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination at Work

Seven in 10 U.S. employees who started working at home during the pandemic say their companies should introduce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination before workers are called back to the office, a new survey reveals.

It also found that 76% of the more than 2,000 adults polled from Feb. 16 to 18 plan to get vaccinated as soon as they can, CBS News reported.

About 70% of employees said they’d like their companies to provide incentives — such as cash bonuses and extra time off — to get vaccinated, according to the findings from the employment website Glassdoor.

With a few exemptions, employers are allowed to require the vaccine and to ban unvaccinated people from the workplace, CBS News reported.

“COVID-19 has triggered a new wave of employee expectations, from incentives to get a vaccine to more flexible work options, even after it’s safe to return to the office,” Carina Cortez, Glassdoor’s chief people officer, said in a statement. “Employers must take employee feedback into account to determine what is best for their workforce, including how to best support employees who plan to get the vaccine, and employees who do not.”

The Glassdoor survey also shows that working from home has proven to be a popular. Nearly nine in 10 respondents said they want to continue working from home, even when it’s safe to return to the office.

Nearly one quarter of U.S. adults surveyed said they would consider quitting their jobs if they were called back to the workplace before all employees are vaccinated. A slightly smaller share of workers are so happy at home they said they might quit anyway should they be called back to the office.

U.K Variant of Coronavirus Much More Deadly: Study

The so-called U.K. variant of the coronavirus has a “significantly higher” death rate than earlier versions of the virus, researchers say.

The B.1.1.7 variant was first identified in Britain last fall and experts say it’s up to 70% more infectious than the original strain. A new study found that people infected with the variant were between 32% and 104% more likely to die than those with previous variants, the Washington Post reported.

Of 543,906 patients infected with the B.1.1.7 variant, 227 died. There were 141 deaths among the same number of patients infected with other variants, according to the study published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal.

“The variant of concern, in addition to being more transmissible, seems to be more lethal,” the study authors wrote, the Post reported.

The B.1.1.7 variant is now circulating in more than 100 countries and nearly 3,300 cases of the variant have been identified in the United States

“Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly, this makes B.1.1.7 a threat that should be taken seriously,” study co-leader Robert Challen, a researcher at the University of Exeter, U.K., told Reuters, the Post reported.

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