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Despite Research, Public Still Worried about Vaccines

A new study is looking at how messages regarding vaccines are assimilated by the US public.

Immunization rates continue to be high but concerns about vaccine safety are increasing. Current communication methods do not appear to lead to more comfort with vaccines, making it more important than ever that state and territorial public health agencies, charged with promoting, monitoring and tracking vaccine use, understand the growing reluctance among parents and guardians to fully vaccinate their children and identify effective messages about the benefits of vaccines.

According to this report, 5% of all respondents mentioned autism-related concerns, and an above average amount of people designated the statement "Vaccines can cause serious health problems like…autism" to be "convincing."

The conclusion states:

...Current communication methods based on scientific research do not appear to lead to more comfort with vaccines…

Reading this blog post, one would tend to think it was a bad report for vaccines. Far from it, it's wholly positive, which one will gather if one reads the whole thing. However, the aspect of the report I’m particularly concerned with (autism) shows that there is a growing trend of belief and a shrinking trend of science in what leads a parent to make up their mind. And, apparently, autism plays a relatively large part in that decision-making process.

So what do we do about that? The science is clear that vaccines don’t cause autism, but the US public seem to be ignoring such science. What else is there available that we can use? Because, take note, we in the autism community have an obligation to society as much as they do to us. Their obligation is to do right by autistic people. Our obligation is continue to fight the idea that vaccines cause autism. If we do not, then the public will believe that all parents of autistic people and autistic people themselves believe that vaccines cause autism – that's a very dangerous place to be.


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