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Most Americans Support Child Vaccination

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Over eight out of 10 Americans support the mandatory vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) for children in public schools, a new report states. This shows that despite the ongoing opposition regarding immunization, adults still mostly believe that MMR can help kids a great deal.

The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center, finds that 88% of all Americans are of the opinion that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh any perceived risks, US News reports.

Close to three-quarters of more than 1,500 adults surveyed said that they think the MMR vaccine provides children with health benefits. Two-thirds likewise believe that there is a low chance of side effects from administering the vaccine.

However, the findings also showed some differences related to age, education and race, according to lead author Cary Funk. Funk, Pew’s associate director of research, says,

In addition to parents of young children, this analysis finds that adults under age 30, blacks and people with lower knowledge about science topics see a higher risk of side effects or lower preventive health benefits from this vaccine.

In contrast, richer Americans who have scientific knowledge are more likely to support school-based immunization efforts, the researchers say.

Funk adds that public health benefits from vaccines are based on high rates of immunization, and explains that it’s important to examine which groups have doubts about the MMR vaccine. Adults who don’t have children under 18 years old, on the other hand, have more faith in the vaccine, as 70% think chances of side effects. The other 30% say medium to high, the survey states.

Three out of five parents with children in preschool or younger, on the other hand, say that the preventive benefits of the MMR vaccine are high, compared with 75% of parents with children between the ages of five to 17.

How people perceive modern science also affects their views on immunization. Funk says, “This survey looks in-depth at people’s views about vaccines to explore which groups have more reservations about the MMR vaccine and whether or not those views are connected with people’s trust in medical science.”

Groups less likely to support vaccination include individuals who have tried alternative medicine, the survey says.

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