Americans less confident in vaccines, study finds

Fewer feel they’ve benefited from vaccines

Americans’ confidence in the U.S. vaccine system is waning, according to a new survey.

A study by Research!America and the American Society of Microbiology shows 77 percent of adults are confident in the current system for evaluating the safety and providing recommendations for vaccine schedules. That’s down 8 percentage points from a decade ago.

Furthermore, 59 percent of adults surveyed strongly believe they have benefited from vaccine development over the past half-century, a 16 percentage-point drop from 2008.

“This is a concerning trend,” said Marcella Perez, M.D., pediatrician, Norton Children’s Medical Group – Poplar Level. “Vaccines are an important part of keeping kids and families healthy while preventing very serious diseases.”

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On the other hand, more than 6 in 10 respondents agreed with the statement that parents who don’t vaccinate their children put both their kids and communities at risk, up 10 percentage points from 2008.

“Vaccines are the great success story of today’s modern medicine,” Dr. Perez said. “Vaccines have been researched and have prevented the deaths of children from illnesses such as measles, whooping cough and rotavirus for decades. Immunizations work if everyone follows the recommendations outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control.”

Dr. Perez said if you’re concerned or have questions about vaccines, ask your pediatrician.

“Parents should be comfortable asking their pediatrician questions,” she said. “I want parents to ask questions and to rely on me to provide them with information, resources and excellent care when it comes to the health of their child.”