Unfortunately, Republican politicians and conservative media figures are increasingly joining up with the anti-vaxxers. Even before COVID, they were fighting vaccine mandates and other public health measures.
While most of the public continue to have confidence in the benefits of childhood vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella, the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and debates over vaccine requirements and mandates appear to have had an impact on public attitudes towards MMR vaccine requirements for public schools. The latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey finds that about seven in ten adults (71%) say healthy children should be required to get vaccinated for MMR in order to attend public schools, down from 82% who said the same in an October 2019 Pew Research Center poll. Almost three in ten (28%) now say that parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their school-age children, even if this creates health risks for others, up from 16% in 2019. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, there has been a 24 percentage-point increase in the share who hold this view (from 20% to 44%).