"Typhoid Inoculation" by John Vachon / Public Domain

More Americans now see ‘very high’ preventive health benefits from measles vaccine

Jan 7, 2020

By Meg Hefferon and Cary Funk

Public attitudes about the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine remain broadly positive in the United States, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

An overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (88%) say the benefits of the MMR vaccine outweigh the risks – the same share as in 2016, when the Center last asked this question – while the share who consider its preventive health benefits to be “very high” has grown by 11 percentage points during that time (from 45% to 56%). A 69% majority of Americans consider the risk of side effects from the vaccine to be either low or very low, about the same as in 2016.

The findings come amid rising public health concerns about measles outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world. In 2019, the U.S. reported the highest annual number of measles cases in more than 25 years. And a recent study found that vaccination rates in more than half of U.S. states have been declining over the past several years.

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