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Just under half of Americans believe U.S. employers should require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent survey.

They survey, which was conducted in early December by Ipsos on behalf of Eagle Hill Consulting, found that 49 percent of employed Americans believe the vaccine should be mandated in the workplace. The majority of the 1,005 survey participants also said employers should require their workers to wear masks, practice social distancing, get their temperature checked and get tested for COVID-19.

Unsurprisingly, just three percent of those surveyed believe employees should pay for the cost of the vaccination if it is required. Instead, they believe the federal government (38 percent), the employers themselves (25 percent) or state and local government (8 percent) should cover the bill. More than half of those surveyed believe it’s the employer’s responsibility to pay for any required COVID-19 testing.

"With COVID-19 vaccines in reach for workers, there indeed is reason to feel hopeful after a crushing year for families, businesses and the economy. But the road ahead will be complicated for employers, as our research indicates," said Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting, in a press release. "The workforce clearly is split on employer vaccine mandates, so it's going to be contentious no matter where an employer lands on inoculation requirements."

After considering the public's support for the mandate, the question then becomes whether or not private companies can mandate that their employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. Six health law experts recently told one news agency that American law does permit businesses to make health and safety standards a condition of employment, and that mandatory COVID-19 vaccination could be one of those conditions. However, one law professor told the same news agency that it's unlikely that private American businesses would mandate a vaccination at this time.

To read more about Eagle Hill Consulting's survey, click here.