Screening News Update: Vaccine Hesitancy in the NFL, Hospital Suit Dismissed, and New Unemployment Poll

Screening News Update: Vaccine Hesitancy in the NFL, Hospital Suit Dismissed, and New Unemployment Poll

By Jennifer Gladstone

There is a significant amount of vaccine hesitancy in the NFL, hospital workers who refused the shots have their case dismissed, and a new poll shows us how the pandemic has changed the workforce. It’s all in today’s EBI Screening News Update.

Vaccine Hesitancy in the NFL

Imagine having to take a COVID test every single day before starting work. This is just one of the many things several NFL players are willing to do instead of getting vaccinated.

As teams are prepping for the start of the 2021 season, just over 50% of players have been fully vaccinated. When you compare that number to the general public, which as of this week now stands around 45%, that number seems pretty good. But, despite the league’s encouragement, there is a lot of vaccine hesitancy among the players.

Those who are unvaccinated are not saying much about why they are refusing the jabs, but there are some common themes. Some say they still want more information about the vaccine, others say they are concerned it will affect their health and performance, and others just say it is a personal decision, nothing more.

While the players are being given the freedom to make the decision for themselves, that’s not the case for other NFL employees. Anyone with direct access to the players, like coaches, trainers, doctors, general managers, and even camera operators and security guards, must have their vaccines to come to work. Only medical and religious exemptions are allowed.

As of now, all team members will be allowed to be on the field, regardless of their status. But until fully vaccinated, players will have to continue those daily tests, they won’t be allowed to interact with family and friends while they are on the road, and they will not be allowed to eat in the team cafeteria.

Hospital Lawsuit Thrown Out

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about hospital employees in Houston who were suing because they were being required to get the vaccine. They claimed Houston Methodist was forcing them to be “human guinea pigs,” and they had to be part of a “medical experiment” in order to feed their families.

Nearly 200 employees were suspended for refusing to get vaccinated, but a federal judge quickly dismissed the suit. U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes said the hospital’s requirement does not violate federal law or public policy. He was also upset about the lawsuit comparing the hospital requirement with medical experiments in Nazi Germany.

Attorneys representing the employees claim that this was just the first battle of a very long war.

How COVID Changed the Workforce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a poll that highlights how the pandemic has changed the face of the American workforce.

The poll found that about a fifth of those who lost their jobs during COVID are now only working part-time, while one in 10 have become self-employed. About 60% say they are in no hurry to return to work, and 13% have used this as a reason to retire.

We’ve talked a lot recently about federal unemployment benefits actually having the unintended consequence of keeping people home. Of the people polled, 13% agree that it’s “not worth looking for work” while they are getting the extra benefits.

While there are more than 9-million unfilled jobs right now – which is a record – nearly a quarter of the respondents say they just don’t have the skills or experience necessary to apply.

Economists are calling this the most “complex” labor market ever, and no one can say for sure what the future will bring.

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

Learn More About Sterling