Study: Americans Losing Confidence in Vaccine System

Relationship with doctors big factor in decision whether to vaccinate

A recent survey found that Americans in 2018 have less confidence in the U.S. vaccine system than they did 10 years ago.

Overall, 77 percent of respondents to a recent survey still expressed confidence in the system, but that number was down a full 8 percent since 2008. The survey, conducted by Research!America and the American Society of Microbiology, also found that only 67 percent of Americans have confidence in the current system’s ability to provide an adequate supply of vaccines to avoid shortages—down from 78 percent in 2008.

Lastly, 59% “strongly” believed they had personally benefited from vaccine development over the past half-century, a 16 percentage-point drop from 2008.

“This is startling—how could anyone think they weren’t benefiting [from vaccine development]?” Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley said Monday at a briefing sponsored by the two organizations. “Perhaps we’re not getting the word out effectively; perhaps not enough people are taking the time to engage with the community. It’s very important to take this seriously.”

Some better news was that 61% of respondents agreed with the statement that parents who don’t vaccinate their children put both their children and their communities at risk, up 10 percentage points from 2008.

“That recognition is strong and important and we trust it will continue to move in that direction,” said Woodley.

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