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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Belief in the Myth That Vaccines Cause Autism

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread  And among those diseases could be COVID-19.

Overall, health misinformation is widely prevalent in the U.S. with 96% of adults saying they have heard at least one of the ten items of health-related misinformation asked about in the survey. The most widespread misinformation items included in the survey were related to COVID-19 and vaccines, including that the COVID-19 vaccines have caused thousands of deaths in otherwise healthy people (65% say they have heard or read this) and that the MMR vaccines have been proven to cause autism in children (65%).

"The MMR vaccines have been proven to cause autism in children" Percent who say that claim is probably true or definitely true:

Total 24%

High school or less 31%
Some college                 23%
College degree         16%

Black                      35%
Hispanic                         25%
White                         21%

Men                                 22%
Women                         25%

18-29                         23%
30-49                         29%
50-64                      25%
65+                                 15%

Party ID
Republicans         29%
Independents                 34%
Democrats                 14%

Community type
Rural                         25%
Suburban                         23%
Urban                         24%