Survey by Hawkins shows local opposition to vaccine mandates


A survey by 12th District Sen. Brad Hawkins shows strong opposition in this region to Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccination and masking mandates.

About 6,500 people responded to Hawkins’ survey with 60 percent saying school employees should not be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as a term of their employment, a requirement now in place.

The percentages were the same when people were asked about current vaccine mandates for state workers and health care employees.

Fifty-six percent of the respondents said students should not be required to wear masks at school.

Hawkins’ survey was done online in late August and linked to through his legislative newsletter, as well as publicized in local media.

When it came to whether Inslee should extend his vaccine mandates to other local government workers, almost 65 percent of the respondents said no.

Hawkins did not say what he planned to do with the survey results but said they would be helpful to him ahead of the next session of the Legislature.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who participate and provided comments. It’s clear that our region – like most of America – is split on many of the difficult questions surrounding the pandemic,” Hawkins said. “At this stage, I think it’s important for us to respect people’s differing opinions so that we can try to move forward together.”

Hawkins said thousands of the respondents added personal messages with their survey responses.