Thursday, March 12, 2015

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Increased Support for Vaccinations

It was the outbreak that launched thousands of vaccination debates across the country, but it came with a silver lining. The Disneyland measles outbreak earlier this year convinced more Americans that vaccines are safe, effective, and important.

According to a Harris Interactive survey, 87 percent of adult Americans polled said they believe routine childhood vaccinations are safe, up from 77 percent last year. Eighty-two percent believe vaccinations should be mandatory for all children, up five percentage points from last year’s poll. The knowledge about herd immunity also increased, as only 21 percent of adults polled said they believe it is OK for some children to go unvaccinated as long as most children get vaccinated, down from 29 percent last year.

"I think the measles outbreak is causing some people to re-examine their 'facts' about childhood vaccinations," Aaron Glatt, MD, spokesman for the Infectious Disease Society of America, told HealthDay reporter Amy Norton. "Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a scare."

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