Why the Public Supports Vaccinations

As White House Presses for Booster Shots, Americans Are Slow to Get Them

Sixty years after ending the policy of mandatory vaccinations, public opinion is divided on mandatory school vaccination.

This story is about the new debate over mandatory vaccinations, and why it affects a generation of young Americans who have largely resisted vaccinations.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the mandatory vaccination laws into law; President Lyndon Johnson had signed similar legislation in 1964.

By the end of the 1960s, the rates of measles, mumps, and whooping cough had dropped dramatically because the diseases were now contained within communities and the health-care system in the United States had a strong safety net for those who got sick.

Still, the public remained largely distrustful of the government.

A quarter century later, as the first mandatory vaccination programs began to roll out, the numbers of adults who were skeptical of vaccination policy jumped from 1 in 10 to 1 in 7.

In the fall of 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a statement urging mandatory vaccination.

As of mid-August 2017, over 99% of the public supports mandatory vaccination, according to a new study from the Public Religion Research Institute.

And yet, a majority of all Americans who have children have not received a mandatory vaccination.

Many health and human service departments, as well as non-profits who provide vaccinations to children, have been unable to get vaccines through these channels.

At the same time, vaccine-derived-stimulation (or vaccines themselves) are increasing in popularity, and are increasingly being used in schools to vaccinate their young children.

This is happening despite a growing social movement.

“The problem is that the public doesn’t trust the government,” says Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who conducted the study of children’s medical records that is now the foundation of the anti-vaccination movement.

“The evidence hasn’t been enough,” he adds.

Leave a Comment