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Poll: 82% want co-workers to be vaccinated

Nearly 70 percent of respondents backed compulsory vaccinations for employees in the care sector.

Many restaurants still ask customers to show a Covid pass. Image: Mari Kahila / Yle

The vast majority of working people hope that their co-workers have been vaccinated against Covid-19. That is the view of 82 percent of respondents in a survey published by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises on Sunday. Having vaccinated colleagues was especially important to those over age 55.

Nearly two in three workers felt that employers should be able to require staff to get vaccinated, while just under one third opposed vaccine mandates. The proportion of opponents was clearly higher among those under 45 years of age.

"This has also been reflected in feedback that we have received. Vaccinations and the Covid pass divide the business community as well as everyone in working life," said Janne Makkula, Labour Market Director at the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, in a press release.

Compulsory vaccinations for employees in the care sector were supported by 69 percent of respondents, while less than a quarter opposed.

The majority of respondents said that each company should be able to decide for itself whether to require its customers to show a Covid pass. This view was backed by 58 percent of those polled, with one third disagreeing.

Covid pass may be reconfigured

The Finnish Covid pass, based on the EU Digital Covid Certificate, was introduced in October, but its use was restricted in late December. The government and health authorities are now reconsidering its use and requirements. The option of getting a pass based on a recent negative test result may be removed.

In Makkula's view, the Covid pass "could help to ensure the healthiest possible services for both customers and employees." He added that employers should be able to require workers to have a Covid pass at the workplace.

According to Makkula, the Covid pass should be urgently revised to include a full series of vaccinations, a recent illness or a medical reason based on a physician's statement. A rejigged Covid pass would be essential if the pandemic situation suddenly worsens, he argued.

The survey was conducted by polling organisation Kantar TNS, which interviewed more than 1,000 people in early January. The margin of error is just over three percentage points.

73% have at least one jab

As of Saturday 38.6 percent of the total population had received third or booster doses of coronavirus vaccine, according to the health institute THL. That was 43.8 percent of those aged 12 and over, who are currently eligible for shots.

Meanwhile 76.1 percent of the total population had received two jabs, and 73.1 of the total population had gotten at least one dose. For those eligible for vaccinations, the corresponding figures were 86.4 percent and 83 percent.