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Taking Note – The Editorial Page Editor’s Blog: Facts & Figures: Vaccines Under Fire By The Editors March 6, 2015 12:30 New York Times

Americans are less likely to say vaccination is “extremely important” than they were in 2001, according to a poll released Friday. They are also much more likely to have heard about disadvantages of vaccines — 30 percent said they’d heard “a great deal” about such disadvantages, up from 15 percent in 2001.

A slight majority of Americans, 54%, say it is extremely important that parents get their children vaccinated, down from the 64% who held this belief 14 years ago. Another 30% call it ‘very important’ — unchanged from 2001. The rest, 15%, consider it ‘somewhat,’ ‘not very’ or ‘not at all important,’ up from 2001.

These results, based on interviews conducted Feb. 28-March 1 on Gallup Daily tracking, follow a relatively large measles outbreak in the U.S. stemming from pockets of unvaccinated children. This outbreak called attention to the continuing controversy over the possibly serious side effects of vaccines, a hypothesis advanced by some anti-vaccine activists, but vigorously denied by most doctors and scientists.


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