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During the week of April 19, the Centers for Disease Control promoted an awareness campaign to urge construction workers to get the COVID-19 vaccination. In addition to general guidelines and factsheets (offered in both English and Spanish), the awareness week included a webinar, titled “COVID-19 Vaccines and Construction: Key Things to Know,” sponsored by the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and featuring experts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

This campaign is critical to the industry given newly published research stating that construction workers are expressing low willingness to become vaccinated. One study, from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, reveals that 46.4% of construction/extraction employees surveyed would probably or definitely refuse the COVID-19 vaccine. Plus, 42.6% of respondents in the installation/maintenance/repair categories said the same.

Although vaccine rollout is leading to increased acceptance—meaning the CISC initiative may have had an impact—major causes for concern still exist for many, such as potential side effects, distrust in the government or a preference to wait and see if the vaccine is safe.

Similarly, in a study published by Morning Consult Report, a data insights company, only 53% of those polled in the construction field indicated a willingness to become vaccinated—a result among the lowest of all occupations, with just the retail, transportation, and food and beverage sectors reporting lower percentages.

Contractors should continue to follow CDC guidance, which includes wearing a mask except when fully vaccinated, making efforts to become fully vaccinated and following local mask mandates, according to the latest CDC update on May 13. Visit cdc.gov for more information.

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