Vaccine doubters can change their tunes when outbreaks are near, the study finds
- Researchers from the University of Idaho have questioned more than 1,000 people about their opinion on vaccines in the US.
- Those who were skeptical about federal health officials and who lived far away from outbreaks of diseases have a negative view of vaccinations
- But people who had the same skepticism and lived near an outbreak were more likely to have positive opinions
- This suggests that the more immediate a threat becomes, the more people prioritize protection against their general mistrust of the government
Vaccine doubters are more open to admissions when outbreaks of diseases are near, a new study finds.
A growing number of Americans are suspicious of government health officials, and especially vaccines, whose misinformation has led some to believe that children are at risk for autism.
Researchers discovered that people who were skeptical about federal health organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made decisions about vaccines – to some extent – based on how close they were to an outbreak.
Those wary of government agencies and living far from an outbreak took a much harder fight against vaccines.
But the University of Idaho team discovered that the threat of a preventable disease – such as the ongoing measles outbreak – was getting closer, even people who did not trust the government's recommendations were more pro-vaccine.
A new study from the University of Idaho has shown that people have conquered skepticism from federal health officials and have a positive outlook on vaccines when living near an outbreak of disease (file image)
& # 39; Citizens who are skeptical of the CDC and similar institutions base their vaccination decision to a certain extent on whether or not a particular disease occurs in the vicinity of their community, & # 39; said Dr. Florian Justwan, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Idaho.
The hesitation of vaccines, described by the World Health Organization as & # 39; reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines & # 39 ;, is increasing in the US.
A survey From May 2018 it appeared that support for vaccinations among Americans has fallen by 10 percent in the last 10 years.
About 70 percent said that regular vaccines, such as those that protect against polio and measles, & # 39; very important & # 39; are, according to the poll by Research America and the American Society for Microbiology.
This is less than 80 percent who gave the same answer in November 2008.
Vaccine skepticism has become widespread due to misinformation on social media, some recordings that can cause mild side effects, and (now being invalidated) studies that have linked vaccines to autism.
Experts also say that because diseases are less common, people don't remember time before vaccinations were commonplace.
& # 39; There are infections that we have not seen in years or we cannot remember the last time we saw them & # 39 ;, said Dr. Michael Angarone, an assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, DailyMail.com in an interview last year.
& # 39; So they ask: & # 39; Why should I vaccinate myself or my child if the disease is not there? & # 39; Well, then we will see more cases of measles, mumps, and polio. & # 39;
This is the case with the most recent measles epidemic in the US that has made more than 1,200 people in 30 states sick.
For the study, published in PLOS ONE, the team interviewed more than 1,000 people in the US in January 2017 after local outbreaks of measles in 2016.
The participants were asked about their political views and their opinion about vaccinations.
& # 39; Confidence in government medical experts is strongly and positively related to the attitude of vaccination & # 39 ;, wrote the authors.
People who were skeptical about organizations such as the CDC and did not live near an outbreak saw vaccines as not being positive.
But those who had the same skepticism and lived in the vicinity of an outbreak had more positive views.
Researchers discovered that people with great confidence were not affected by their proximity to an outbreak.
"In this article, we are investigating whether people 's measles vaccination behavior is determined by how far they live from a recent outbreak." Justwan.
& # 39; We see that this is the case – but only for people who also distrust medical experts from the government.
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