If there's anything positive to come from the recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough, it may be this: More American parents now view childhood vaccinations as being safe and beneficial, according to the findings of a new poll.
According to a recent C.S. Mott Children's Hospital poll, conducted in May, 25 percent of participants responded that their "confidence in vaccine safety has increased" in the last year, and 34 percent believe being vaccinated is more beneficial than they previously thought. (Just 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, now believe vaccines are less safe and less beneficial than they did a year ago.)
The poll also found that 40 percent of parents believe their children are at a higher risk of contracting these diseases than a year ago. And 35 percent of parents are now more supportive of vaccination requirements at daycares and schools.
Experts believe the shift in opinions is due to the numerous measles and whooping cough outbreaks that have made news across the country over the past year, as well as efforts by health professionals to increase knowledge about the benefits of vaccines.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.
Image: Mom with daughter receiving vaccine via Shutterstock