Upgraded Points recently published the results of a vaccine survey that reveals how Americans feel about various travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. With ongoing debate surrounding personal freedoms and the ability to travel unhindered throughout the country, most now believe that proof of vaccination should be a requirement. The survey also indicated which generation was more likely to disagree with vaccination passports and how both male and female respondents feel about the issue.
“After we compiled the results, I’d say we were a bit surprised by the answers, but probably less surprised by the timing,” said Alex Miller, founder and CEO of Upgraded Points. “The idea of a vaccine passport has been growing exponentially in popularity. With New York City and parts of California now mandating proof of vaccination, along with major companies like Norwegian cruise lines, it’s inevitable that other cities, states, and companies will begin doing the same. And even though some states like Florida and Texas have banned vaccine passports, the general public is starting to get used to the idea.”
Conducted between June 2–3, the survey included 997 people across the U.S. who were asked a variety of questions related to vaccine passports – defined as “a document proving you have been vaccinated against COVID-19.” Asked also about their preferences related to general pandemic travel restrictions, citizens surveyed represent a range of demographics including gender (male/female), generation (Baby Boomers/Generation X/Millennials/Generation Z), and those already vaccinated vs the unvaccinated.
General and Generational Results
Most respondents were familiar with the term vaccine passport, with nearly 82% stating that they now support the idea in one form or another. These results were tied to both age and gender, with women 7% more likely to support vaccine passports than men. Among the unvaccinated, men were more likely incentivized to become vaccinated based on travel restrictions than women.
Baby Boomers are the least likely to support vaccine passports, with only 77% approving; though these numbers shifted depending on masks/no-masks, and the setting (airports, airplanes, other enclosed spaces, etc.).
More than half of those surveyed believed vaccine passports would infringe on the rights of unvaccinated individuals, with healthcare inequity, data privacy, and the possibility of outright forgeries cited as issues influencing the opinions of older generations.
Vaccine Passports as Encouragement
Further broken down into domestic travel, sitting indoors at a restaurant, and attending sporting events/concerts, the survey revealed whether mandating vaccines would actually influence people to become vaccinated. 49.1% of those asked were more likely to attend sporting events or concerts, while 48.8% were more likely to enjoy a sit-down meal in a restaurant.
Upgraded Points also asked Americans whether they believed it was fair to demand proof of vaccination to travel on airlines, book hotels, and if travel companies and cruise lines should begin demanding vaccine passports.
50.9% total respondents reported they were more likely to travel domestically with vaccine passport requirements, with women (59%) more likely than men (52%) to say proof of vaccinations should be required. Fully 74% agreed that vaccine passports should be required to fly on an airplane. And finally, the study revealed surprising results based on whether respondents believed the unvaccinated should be quarantined outright during travel.
“As with all public health issues, education is key,” explained Alex Miller. “Discussing this topic openly has given people a chance to consider why this might be less of a personal freedoms debate and much more of a health-emergency response. The survey numbers show us that more people are beginning to realize getting the vaccine will help limit the spread of COVID-19 while traveling. Especially now, with the delta variant spreading so rapidly.”