A Pew poll conducted between Feb. 3-5 with over 1,000 U.S. adults revealed that 83 percent believe the MMR vaccine for measles is safe for healthy children, versus 9 percent (with 7 percent uncertain).
But of the 83 percent, confidence in vaccine safety decreased in younger age groups. In the 50+ age group, 90 percent believed in the necessity of vaccines. In the 30-49 age group, the number decreased to 81 percent, and in the 18-29 group, the number decreased further to 77 percent.
Both men and women shared roughly an equal amount of confidence in vaccines (81 percent men; 85 percent women).
Education level also played a factor in affecting an adult's support of vaccines -- the higher the education level, the more adults were likely to say vaccines are safe (92 percent college versus 77 percent high school).
When asked, the reasons younger generations were skeptical about vaccines included: uncertainty over their effectiveness, suspicion with pharmaceutical companies, and confusion over why healthy kids would need vaccines. Surprisingly, few adults raised autism and vaccines as a concern.
The poll comes at a time when the measles outbreak is ongoing, with over 120 cases across 17 states.
More About Measles
- All About the MMR Vaccine
- Spot That Rash: What Measles Look Like
- Measles: What to Do if Your Child Is Exposed
- What to Do if You or Your Child Gets the Measles
- How to Protect Babies from Measles
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Photo of vaccine vials via Shutterstock