Widespread support for childhood vaccinations, large gaps in vaccination safety knowledge, PSRAI survey shows

09:36 EDT 1 Aug 2017 | PR Newswire

PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A July 2017 PSRAI survey shows that 63% of U.S. adults believe that all children should be required to get vaccinated against childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough. One-third feel that parents should get to choose whether their kids are vaccinated.

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Majorities across generations say childhood vaccinations should be required, with strongest support from seven in 10 Baby Boomers (ages 53-71) and adults age 72 and older. More than half of Millennials (ages 18-36) and Generation X (ages 37-52) also support vaccinations but about four in 10 of these younger adults say the decision should be left to parents. Those with children under 18 years old are more likely to think that vaccination is the parents' decision (40%), compared with those who do not have children (30%).

More than half of Americans (53%) believe that unvaccinated children should not be allowed to attend public schools. College graduates are among the biggest supporters of prohibiting unvaccinated children from attending public school (62%).

Debates about vaccinations usually center around childhood, so perhaps unsurprisingly, Americans are largely unaware of whether most health care professionals say vaccines are safe for pregnant women. Three-quarters of adults are unsure if health care professionals regard flu vaccines as safe for pregnant women, and 84% were also unsure about pertussis or whooping cough vaccines.

Despite gaps in safety knowledge, Americans are largely confident that "new medicines and treatments are carefully and thoroughly tested before they are made available to the public." Seventy-two percent agreed, while 24% disagreed. These views correlate with opinions about childhood immunizations. Nearly seven in 10 respondents who agree that medicines and treatments are thoroughly tested say that childhood vaccinations should be required.

Methodology The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviewing by landline and cellular telephones occurred July 6-9, 2017 among a random sample of 1,002 U.S. adults. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Data have been weighted to parameters from the U.S. Census Bureau. The margin of error for results based on the complete set of weighted data is +/- 3.9 percentage points.

About PSRAI PSRAI is an independent survey research firm dedicated to providing high-quality information to clients in the United States and around the world (

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SOURCE Princeton Survey Research Associates International


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