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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Opinion on Autism and Vaccines

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism.  Trump has supported that theory.  As an earlier post indicated, his voters were more likely than Clinton voters to believe the myth. Another post looked at partisan data.  There are also signs of ideological distrust of science.

President-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism about the safety of childhood vaccines contrasts not only with the scientific consensus, but also with the opinions of Americans ― fewer than one-quarter of whom think immunization should be a matter of personal choice.

By a more than 2-1 margin, 54 percent to 26 percent, Americans say that the science supporting the safety of childhood vaccination is “indisputable,” rather than something that requires future debate, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, although partisan divides on the issue are widening.
But although a majority of Democrats and Republicans still support vaccination, the minor partisan divides present in the 2015 survey appear to have modestly widened.

Democrats have become even more staunch advocates for vaccines in the past two years. Two-thirds say that vaccine science is indisputable, up 6 points from 2015. Seventy-seven percent still consider childhood vaccines a matter of public health.

In contrast, while 64 percent of Republicans think vaccination is a public health issue, that’s down 7 points since the previous survey. Fifty-three percent consider childhood vaccines indisputably safe, down 9 points from 2015.