Young Americans most worried about vaccines

January 30, 2015, 5:01 PM GMT+0

Younger Americans are much more skeptical of vaccination than their elders

95 people across the US and Mexico have been affected by an outbreak of measles that has been traced back to the Disneyland theme park in southern California. Outbreaks of measles have become increasingly common in recent years as the number of unvaccinated children have increased. Last year the CDC reported the largest outbreak of measles since 1996, despite the fact that the disease had been considered 'eradicated' in 2000.

YouGov's latest research shows that most Americans (57%) support requiring all children to get vaccinated against childhood diseases, but 32% do think that it should be up to parents to decide whether or not their child should be vaccinated. Americans under the age of 30 (43%) are far more likely than other age groups to say that the decision should be left to parents. Only 26% of 45-64 year olds and 21% of over-65s think that vaccination should be at parental discretion.

One of the major issues around vaccination is the long disproven worry that they can cause autism. Younger Americans are not only more likely to oppose mandatory vaccination, but are also more likely to say that vaccines can cause autism. 21% of under-30s say that they can cause autism, compared to only 3% of over-65s.

Full poll results can be found here.