Public Support For Vaccines Drops

Strong support for vaccines has fallen since 2008, survey finds

(Maggie Fox, NBC News) Support for vaccination has fallen a little among Americans in the past 10 years, a new survey out Monday finds.

While almost all Americans still vaccinate their children on schedule and support doing so, the percentage who say they strongly support vaccination and who are firmly confident in vaccine recommendations has fallen, the survey by Research America found.

Most Americans get recommended vaccines, especially children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 90 percent of kids under age 3 have had their full series of vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella; hepatitis B, chickenpox; and polio. More than 80 percent are up to date on Haemophilus influenzae; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; and pneumococcal vaccines.

But pockets of vaccine skeptics have helped cause outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. And it takes vaccination rates of upwards of 90 percent to achieve what’s called herd immunity so that even those who cannot be vaccinated are protected.

Asked “how important do you believe vaccines are to the health of our society today,” 70 percent said “very important” and 22 percent said “somewhat important.”

In 2008, 80 percent said they were very important and 17 percent said somewhat important.

Asked about their confidence in the current system for evaluating the safety of vaccines and recommendations for when they should be given, 32 percent said they were “very confident” and 45 percent “somewhat confident”, while. 18 percent were not too confident or not at all confident.

The same percentage was very confident in 2008, but 53 percent were somewhat confident and 13 percent were not too or not at all confident. Read the full story at NBC News.  

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