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New Polling Highlights Vaccine Safety Confidence, Concerns Around Trusted Sources of Information

Program and policy work critical for improving uptake of vaccines to prevent backslide of previously eradicated infectious diseases



April 15, 2024 (Washington, DC) The Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID) today released new findings from recent polling that found a general favorability toward health care broadly and vaccines specifically. The polling also found optimism in the future of vaccines, the role of vaccines as a preventative health measure, and a shared concern around the U.S. maintaining a leadership role in the development of vaccines and medicines. The findings did, however, identify concerns around a lack of trust, which many might point to as a reason why routine vaccinations have been in decline and there is a resurgence of concerning, and highly contagious conditions, like measles.


The bipartisan poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group, examined a wide range of vaccine-related subjects, including perceptions of safety and efficacy, acceptance of current and potential future vaccines and varying levels of trust in messengers disseminating vaccine information.


“Voters generally have favorable views toward doctors, medicines and vaccines – but the findings reveal a growing divide among the American public on perceptions of vaccine safety and acceptance,” said David Mermin, Lake Research Partners.


“While this divide falls largely among partisan lines, the polling did find that voters across demographics are interested in new vaccine development and believe it’s important for the U.S. to remain a global leader in vaccine development,” added Brian Nienaber, The Tarrance Group.


Some key takeaways from the nationwide poll include:


  • 80% of respondents found that vaccines approved by the FDA are generally safe along with 79% of respondents who agree that vaccines protect communities from dangerous outbreaks of diseases.

  • There is greater intensity around vaccinating children compared to adults with 88% of respondents saying their children often get vaccines that are recommended for them by their doctor or other health care provider whereas 78% of respondents often get vaccines recommended for themselves by their doctor or other health care provider.

  • There is interest in new vaccines with 72% of respondents stating they would be likely to seriously consider getting a new vaccine in development for Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, Lyme and certain common types of cancers.


“Maintaining trust in our public health infrastructure is essential, regardless of party affiliation,” said former Governor Howard Dean. “Over the past several years we have seen increased politicization of vaccines, which has only exacerbated anxiety and uncertainty. The role of political leaders in public health is to help maintain trust, not tear it down.”


“While it is reassuring that so many respondents trust the science to get their kids and themselves vaccinated, it’s clear – and these findings show – that there is still more work to be done to remind everyone that vaccines protect families and their communities,” said Dr. Angela Branche, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester, and member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Public Policy & Advocacy Committee. “As the health care industry works to develop new vaccines to address a number of diseases, we must recommit ourselves to educating patients and medical professionals on the benefits of routine vaccination.”


PFID is hosting a virtual discussion tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16, highlighting these results and perspective of health and policy experts. You can register HERE. The research findings will be posted on the PFID website www.fighinfectiousdisease.org/resources.

 

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The Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID) is a group of patients, providers, community organizations, academic researchers, business and labor groups, and infectious disease experts working to raise awareness of threats posed by infectious disease.


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