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More Parents Support Vaccines after Recent Outbreaks, Poll Says

The Short of It

Following the recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough, more parents now support child vaccinations, according to a nationwide poll.

The Lowdown

In May, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital conducted its National Poll on Children's Health, surveying parents across the country about changes in their perceptions about vaccines and the risks of children contracting measles and whooping cough in the United States. While 61 percent believe that the benefits of vaccinations remain the same over the past year, 34 percent think vaccines exhibit more benefits, according to the report. In addition, 25 percent now believe vaccinations are safer than they did last year, while 68 percent perceive vaccines are equally safe.

Despite the fact that some vocal anti-vaxxers have been protesting against mandatory vaccines, 35 percent of the parents polled are more willing to support vaccinations required for school and daycare entry and 59 percent said their support remains the same. The survey also found that more parents think there is an increased risk of developing measles and whooping cough over the past year.

On average, one-quarter to one-third of parents show a more positive attitude about vaccinations.

The Upshot

The results of the survey suggest that the latest outbreaks of measles and whooping cough, together with the increased efforts of health professionals to spread information regarding vaccine benefits and safety, have convinced more parents to support vaccinations. I find it encouraging to hear that many parents are being re-educated about the importance of vaccines following the misinformation about them that has abounded in recent years.

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