Multiple measles outbreaks changed parents’ opinion on vaccination within the span of just one year. The scales have tipped well in the favor of support for required vaccines that would prevent dangerous diseases from appearing in children or its spreading.
The news of two dozen measles outbreaks took over the headlines nationwide after reports showed it extending through multiple states with its source at Disneyland, California. Hundreds, if not thousands of children in the same place with several of them not immunized against the disease has brought to question in some parents if vaccination should have been better considered.
Media coverage has been debating the subject of vaccination safety for years and it has gained some unpopularity after claims that it could be the cause of other illnesses or damaging syndromes to developing children.
However, recent polls have discovered a shift. A number of 1,416 parents from around the country with young children participated. They were asked to describe the benefits of vaccination with “more”, “less” or “the same” as they were in 2014.
The study conducted a few months ago has shown that 1 out of 3 parents are now convinced that vaccines have more benefits than they did last year, while 7% believe they’re less safe and 60% have not changed their opinion at all.
That means that 25% of the parents have surprisingly gone through a shift in their mindset in just the span of a year. The doctors place blame, or credit, depending on perspective, on news of the outbreaks and media coverage, along with strengthening parents’ support of required immunizations in daycares or schools.
Throughout a series of polls, it has also been observed that 40% of parents believe that the risk of measles has grown in the United States within the last year and 45% has stated that it’s about the same. Only a small 15% think the risk is lower.
The debates have been prolonged and almost furious, but it seems that the majority is in favor of required vaccination with only a minority still expressing their disapproval. Two in every three people in the U.S. believe that vaccinations should be a requirement for children.
It seems through surveys that the recent outbreaks have changed quite a few opinions, especially with the worrying statistics of measles. It’s one of the main causes of death in young children, claiming 400 lives every day and 145,700 in 2013 only.
However, it can be prevented through an efficient, safe vaccination that is considered to be well worth its cost for parents to protect the lives of their children. Through many pro-messages and coverage from the media, it may be possible that the low percentage of people unsupportive of vaccinations could have their opinions changed.
There is no doubt from the medical community that parents care and put their children’s health and safety first, so it remains to be seen if the change will not be just be in opinion, but in practice as well.
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