Poll: Half US think vaccines cause autism or are unsure

Aug 29, 2018 by

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An earlier version of this action alert had a broken link to the data cited. You can see the data here:  


Nearly half of all adults in the US (48%) believe that some vaccines can cause autism in healthy children, or are unsure, according to polling data featured in a recently published book, Perils of Perception: Why We Are Wrong About Nearly Everything by Bobby Duffy. Duffy is a researcher for international polling firm Ipsos MORI, who asked this and a range of other questions in 38 countries. In the US 19% of adults believe vaccines can cause autism in healthy children and 29% are unsure. It appears the vaccine industry has a huge confidence problem with their products.

Doubts about vaccine safety are higher in Britain, where 20% believe vaccines can cause autism and 35% are unsure. Canadians are slightly more confident than Americans, where the respective numbers are 16% and 32%. In Japan only 25% believe vaccines do not cause autism, whereas in Argentina 62% reject that possibility.

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The data is not broken down according to demographics, but other polling data show that younger people are more dubious than older people about vaccine safety, African Americans more so than whites, women more than men, and mothers more than childless women. Extrapolating from Duffy’s data and these trends, the vaccine industry has a real confidence problem with the key decision makers in the vaccine business: young mothers.

See the initial report on the data here: https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2017-12/ipsos-mori-perils-of-perception-2017-charts.pdf

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