In PPIC’s May Statewide Survey, an overwhelming majority of Californians (73%) said parents should be required to vaccinate their children for diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella. This view is held by at least seven in ten across genders, political parties, and those with and without children in the household. Majorities across demographic groups and regions say vaccinations should be required, as do about three in four Asian Americans, whites, and Latinos—compared to 53 percent of African Americans.
Vaccine safety has been an ongoing matter of concern, despite assurances from the scientific community. Today, nearly all Californians say that the vaccines given to children are safe (62% very, 27% somewhat). The share that say vaccines are very safe is held by strong majorities across parties, as well as majorities across regions and demographic groups. Notably, among Californians who say parents should be able to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children, 73% say vaccines are safe.
At the same time, eight in ten residents are concerned that measles outbreaks will become more widespread (43% very, 36% somewhat). This view is held by majorities of Californians, although the share who say they are very concerned is higher among older Californians than younger Californians (48% to 34%) and among women than men (48% to 38%).