One Year Later, Parents' Vaccine Views Are Changing

Save article
ByEmily Windram
Intern
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image
Photo: Shutterstock

Vaccines have taken center stage in the United States this year — and the more headlines they make, the more parents support them, says a national poll.

The  National Poll on Children’s Health, released by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, asked parents across the United States how their views of vaccinations have changed from 2014 to 2015. The results were dramatic: A solid 25 percent of parents now believe vaccines are safer than they believed at this time last year.

Taking a step beyond “safe” or harmless, 34 percent of parents also believe that vaccines have more benefits than they previously thought. And as more and more parents favor vaccines, they also favor enforcement. Case in point: 35 percent of parents now report a “higher support” for vaccine requirements at daycares and schools.

The cause for such a drastic shift in public opinion? A slew of recent disease outbreaks that hit too close to home for many parents, and the high-profile news coverage that went along with it, says the director of the poll, Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP. The exposure (literally) to diseases we haven’t seen in a while, like the recent measles outbreak in Disneyland that affected over 100 people, has made the threat seem more real. The poll reports that two in five parents now believe the risk of measles for children is higher than what it was one year ago.

“Media coverage […] over the past year, accompanied by messages about vaccines for whooping cough and measles, may be swaying parents’ opinions toward stronger beliefs in the positive aspects of vaccines,” Davis says.

With anti-vaxxers in the minority (only 7 percent of parents saw vaccines as “less safe” this year) and the recent crackdowns on vaccine regulations at the state level, it looks like a serious shift is happening. But the real proof, says Davis, will come when — or if — more parents start to vaccinate their kids.

Related Video
Save article

Study Shows Many Parents Still Don’t Trust Routine Childhood Vaccines

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/29/2020

New Technique Makes Vaccines Safe in Warmer Temperatures, Study Finds

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/09/2020

These Are the Best and Worst States for Vaccination Rates, Report Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/17/2020

Measles Virus Completely Wipes Out Your Immune System, Studies Find

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
11/05/2019

Facebook and Instagram Debut New Strategy to Combat Vaccine Myths

Laurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
09/05/2019

How to Talk About Vaccines Without Starting a Fight

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
06/11/2019

CDC: Measles Cases Have Now Hit a More Than 25-Year High

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/31/2019

Report: These Places in the US Have the Highest Risk of a Measles Outbreak

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/10/2019

Instagram Doubles Down Efforts to Stop the Spread of Misinformation on Vaccines

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/09/2019

Q&A: Modified Immunization Schedule?

Dr. Cheryl Wu
Pediatrician

NYC Declares Public Health Emergency, Orders Mandatory Measles Vaccinations

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
04/09/2019

Italy Will Now Ban Unvaccinated Kids From School

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/13/2019

Massive New Study Once Again Proves No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/05/2019

Social Media Sites Crack Down on Misinformation From Anti-Vax Ads

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
02/25/2019
Article removed.