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Majority of Detroit residents support vaccine requirements, U-M survey shows

Contact: Lauren Slagter, 734-929-8027,

DETROIT —  President Biden, along with the governors of California and New York, recently announced new requirements for government employees to get vaccinated or to submit to frequent testing for COVID-19. They joined a growing number of businesses, professional sports teams, hospitals and colleges and universities that instituted vaccine requirements. 

Could Detroit be next on this growing list? And if so, how would Detroit residents feel about similar vaccine requirements?

According to a recent survey from the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study, over half of Detroit residents support requiring people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before engaging in a variety of public activities, including attending large events, flying on an airplane, using public transit, attending school (college or K-12) in person, and working outside the home. 

Of course, this support is largely driven by Detroiters who have already gotten vaccinated. Detroiters who have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are twice as likely to be in favor of vaccine mandates as unvaccinated residents. For example, while 75% of vaccinated Detroiters support requiring proof of vaccination to attend sporting events or concerts, just 32% of unvaccinated residents similarly support such a requirement. 

But unvaccinated Detroiters are not completely opposed to requiring vaccines to participate in some parts of public life: half of those who had yet to be vaccinated indicated that they are in favor of vaccine requirements in at least one of the settings asked about in the survey. 

Even more notable are the high levels of support for vaccine requirements among the 18% of Detroiters who have not been vaccinated but said they may vaccinate in the future. Fully 60% of residents who are not yet vaccinated but say they may vaccinate in the future support some type of vaccine requirement. This raises the question as to whether instituting vaccine requirements could serve as a critical nudge in the city’s and state’s efforts to increase vaccination rates.  

Extra Info:

  • This data was collected from a representative sample of city households between June 2 and July 9, 2021. 
  • The figure below illustrates levels of support for, and opposition to, vaccine requirements for various activities, among all Detroit residents

Detroiters’ views on requiring COVID-19 vaccines to participate in various activities.