More young adults say vaccines are parent’s choice

The majority of Americans think vaccines for childhood diseases should be required for all children, but younger adults are less likely than older generations to agree.

A recent Pew survey examined attitudes and beliefs on science and technology topics.

The survey asked adults whether vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and polio should be required or left up to parental choice.

About 68 percent of adults said they should be required and 30 percent said parents should get to choose.

Among adults younger than 50, about 37 percent said parents should get to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children, compared with 22 percent of those who are 50 and older, according to the survey.

Scientists, however, overwhelmingly agree (86 percent) that vaccines for childhood diseases should be required for all children. Only 13 percent of scientists think parents should get to choose whether to vaccinate their children.

Other interesting survey findings:

-Safe to eat genetically modified foods: 37 percent of adults agree; 88 percent of scientists agree.

-Safe to eat foods grown with pesticides: 28 percent adults agree; 68 percent of scientists agree.

-Favor use of animals in research: 47 percent of adults agree; 89 percent of scientists agree.

-Humans have evolved over time: 65 percent of adults agree; 98 percent of scientists agree.

-Growing world population will strain natural resources: 59 percent of adults agree; 82 percent of scientists agree.

-Climate change is mostly due to human activity: 50 percent of adults agree; 87 percent of scientists agree.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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