Few believe autism caused by vaccines

July 20, 2013, 6:26 PM GMT+0

Few believe autism is caused by vaccines but Americans are still open to letting anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy have a spot on "The View"

Earlier this week, ABC announced that it would be replacing Elisabeth Hasselbeck on daytime talk show "The View" with Jenny McCarthy, an actress and former model. In addition to her entertainment career, McCarthy has been a prominent anti-vaccine activist, alleging that vaccines were the reason for son's diagnosis with autism. There is no medical evidence which shows the link between vaccines and autism and critics have blasted ABC for giving McCarthy such a prominent role, alleging it will lead to more children not receiving vaccinations, with the real potential for illness or death.

New research from YouGov shows that not many Americans believe the link between autism and vaccinations, but there is still little opposition to letting McCarthy join "The View".

Overall, 68% of Americans have heard of the alleged link between autism and vaccinations. Only 12%, however, believe that vaccinations could cause autism, while 43% say that they do not. 45% are not sure.

While belief in the link between autism and vaccinations remains a minority viewpoint, opinion on whether it is appropriate for ABC to hire her is not particularly decisive. 41% of Americans say it is appropriate for ABC to hire Jenny McCarthy, while 29% say that it is not and 30% are not sure.

Although Americans seem willing tolerate those who claim the link between autism and vaccines, the majority still believe that receiving vaccinations should still be required for all children entering public schools, currently the status quo. 66% of Americans say that public schools should require that students be fully vaccinated, including 73% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans. 14% say that public schools should not require students to be fully vaccinated.

According to the CDC, "all 50 states require certain vaccinations for children entering public schools." The alleged link between autism and vaccination is the result of a now discredited 1998 article published in the journal Lanclet.

Complete results can be found here.

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