Ire of the ‘Vexcluded’ Grows as Companies Crack Down on Unvaxxed
(Bloomberg) -- They call themselves the “vexcluded” -- workers who don’t want to get vaccinated and are irritated with being ostracized.
As employers ratchet up pressure for their staff to get inoculated against Covid-19, the animosity between those who have been vaccinated and those who refuse the shot is starting to boil over.
More than a third of vaccinated workers reported anger at the transmission risk posed by their unvaccinated peers, according to a survey of more than 400 employees in late August by workplace consultancy Seyfarth at Work. About a quarter of non-inoculated employees said they’re upset at the growing restrictions against them.
Some workers are now hardening their stance, and “verbalizing gripes to one another and management,” the survey showed. To make their point, a group of unvaccinated employees at an engineering company has organized under the nickname of the “Vexcluded” to protest that they are being turned into outcasts, Philippe Weiss, president of Seyfarth at Work, said in the report.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has found a consistent 13%-15% of American adults have said they “definitely” don’t intend to get the shot. Those holdouts have been blamed for slowing efforts to reach levels of immunization that health officials say may be necessary to reverse the transmission of the delta variant.
“No doubt this remains a flashpoint, and the tension will ratchet up over time,” said Joshua Michaud, the foundation’s associate director for global health policy. “In any significantly large office, you’re likely to have some group of people who wouldn’t want to get a vaccine, and that might lead to some tension.”
In a separate survey released last week by human-resources consultant Eagle Hill, 41% of workers polled agreed that unvaccinated employees should pay higher insurance rates, and almost two-thirds said those peers shouldn’t get special allowances to work from home.
The schism also shows up in disagreements about why the delta variant continues to spread. Four out of five of the vaccinated blame the unvaccinated for the number of rising cases, according to the results Tuesday from the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index. Among the unvaccinated, only 10% thought they were at fault.
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