Tags: Health Topics | vaccination | parental | choice | millenials | seniors | measles

Poll: Millennials Want Choice, Not Forced To Vaccinate

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 09:22 PM

Call it a feeling of youthful invincibility or distrust of big institutions, but Americans aged 18-29 — members of the so-called millennial generation — are twice as likely as seniors to reject the idea of requiring shots for measles and other viral diseases, says a Pew Research Center poll released last month.

Pew's poll on public attitudes toward science found clear differences across generations on whether child vaccinations should be mandatory or left to parents to decide.

Parental choice becomes less popular as people get older, Pew found, with 41 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds favoring choice on inoculations versus just 20 percent of people aged 65 and older.

"One possible reason that older groups might be more supportive of mandatory vaccinations is that many among them remember when diseases like measles were common," Pew reports.

Measles used to sicken millions and kill hundreds every year, and cases have fallen dramatically since the introduction of a vaccine in 1963.

Vaccination has proved so effective, "at some level, vaccines are a victim of their own success," Paul Offit, director of vaccine education and a pediatrics professor at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, recently told Newsmax TV.

But 2014 also saw an unusual measles spike, with almost 600 reported cases, some in communities where children were not immunized because parents objected on religious grounds or out of fear of complications, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pew conducted its surveys last year at that time, but well before the current measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in Southern California and reignited the vaccination debate.

"The frustrating part is when we have the answers — when we show vaccines don't cause autism or developmental delays or hyperactivity — that we can't convince some parents to believe it," said Offit, a former CDC advisory board member and co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine.

Overall, 68 percent of U.S. adults said that childhood vaccinations should be mandatory.
The Pew poll also found "slight differences in views about vaccines along political lines," with Republicans and independents "somewhat more inclined than Democrats to say that parents should be able to decide" — a partisan split that did not exist when Pew last asked the question in 2009.

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Call it a feeling of youthful invincibility or distrust of big institutions, but Americans aged 18-29 - members of the so-called millennial generation - are twice as likely as seniors to reject the idea of requiring shots for measles and other viral diseases, says a Pew...
vaccination, parental, choice, millenials, seniors, measles
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2015-22-03
Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 09:22 PM
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