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Kaiser Family Foundation Vaccine Monitor
Survey Finds Parental Desire for Childhood Vaccine Choice Rising after COVID-19 Debacle
By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH
The Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Poll was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey was conducted November 29 – December 8, 2022, online and by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 1,259 U.S. adults in English (1,203) and in Spanish (56). Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines that skipped human testing are not popular for young persons under the age of 30 with only (11%) report having gotten an updated booster dose. More than half of adults ages 65 and older have not yet gotten the updated booster. About a third (36%) of vaccinated adults ages 65 and older who have not yet gotten the bivalent booster say they don’t think they need it (36%) and a similar share say they don’t think the benefit of the updated booster is worth the risk.
The COVID-19 vaccine public health debacle appears to have had spillover effect onto general sentiment towards routing childhood vaccines including the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shots as a proxy. Almost three in ten (28%) now say that parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their school-age children, up from 16% in 2019. This represents a 75% increase in the desire to have parental choice take priority over state or school mandates. The COVID-19 unvaccinated appear to be the main population drivers for vaccine choice with 63% indicating MMR vaccination should be solely parental choice and not subject to school mandates.
In summary, the COVID-19 mass vaccination program has backfired and eroded confidence in the routine childhood vaccine schedule and fueled resistance to school vaccine mandates. As more safety data emerge on COVID-19 vaccines, this giant shift towards vaccine choice can be expected to intensify. Where there is any risk, there must be choice.
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