A new Gallup poll reveals that fewer Americans are convinced parents should get their children vaccinated as time goes on, and it appears that lack of education could be a key factor. According to the new study, 84% of 1,025 randomly sampled adults believe it is “extremely or very important” for parents to ensure their children receive recommended vaccinations. In 2001, the last time such data were collected, 94% thought so. One clue as why the decline is taking place could be another data point: Only 45% accept that vaccines do not cause autism. Just as telling, the only subgroup of the study population whose faith in vaccines didn’t drop was highly educated Americans. The severe consequences of failing to vaccinate were not part of this study. However, the re-emergence of potentially deadly diseases for which there are vaccines available strongly suggests that when parents choose not to vaccinate because they don’t understand the benefits or they buy into erroneous reports of their “risks,” their children suffer (and the public) the consequences. This phenomenon was examined in a JUCM article called Unexpected Viral Illness in an Urgent Care Setting: The Re-Emergence of Mumps, Measles, and Varicella. You can read it in our archive.
Vaccine Education Efforts Are Failing; Will an Increase in Preventable Deaths Follow?