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In 1998, results of a study published in The Lancet described how the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine had caused autism in 12 children . Since then, the study has been retracted , and further scientific study has found no evidence of a link. However, the controversy over the safety of vaccines that the study ignited has never fully gone away. Currently, 10% of US adults maintain the belief that vaccines cause autism. This figure is in fact up by 4% since the last poll in 2015, suggesting the Disneyland outbreak reignited fears.
Finally, the survey revealed that parents are received a lot of information about vaccines, both for and against. 89% had reported that they had heard "a great deal" or "a fair amount of information concerning the advantages of vaccines, an increase of 6% since 2015. While 79% also reported they had heard "a great deal" or "a fair amount” surrounding the disadvantages of vaccines, again, this was up 6% from data collected in the 2015 study. Take home message
The survey suggests that parents are becoming more cautious about vaccinating their children, and this has been attributed primarily to the 2015 outbreak. However, it should be considered that the data collected was from a small-scale survey, which interviewed just over 1,000 people. This means that it is more difficult to generalize what was found here, to the entire population. However, when it is considered that nationwide vaccination rates are falling, the survey results fit in with this pattern, providing a possible cause for the reduction in vaccinations across the country.
The impact of falling support for vaccinations, experts believe, may lead to further outbreaks. It should be noted that most of the cases at the Disneyland outbreak occurred in those who ha d no t been vaccinated. Further to this, there have been recent outbreaks of measles and other preventable diseases in regions that have shown low vaccination rates . Sources:
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