Majority of Americans disagree with Trump's vaccine views, survey finds

While conspiracy theories and misnomers about vaccine safety have been a part of contemporary public discourse since the onset of the modern anti-vaccine movement in 1998, the controversy has taken on new parameters with the election of President Donald Trump.

President Trump has expressed skepticism regarding vaccines for some time, according to The Washington Post. In recent weeks, those views have come under scrutiny. In January, Mr. Trump met with vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy to reportedly discuss the creation of a vaccine safety panel. Andrew Wakefield — an ex-physician whose discredited work on the link between vaccines and autism spawned the modern anti-vaccine movement in 1998 — was also a guest at one of Mr. Trump's inaugural balls.

This activity, according to the Post, has spurred concern among both the public and the scientific community as these views neither align with scientific evidence nor American's perceptions of vaccines.

Here are four findings from a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center on American perceptions of vaccines.

1. The nationally representative survey was conducted from May 10 to June 6 among 1,549 adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia and found 82 percent of respondents support vaccine requirements for healthy school age children.

2. Eighty-eight percent of respondents believe the preventative benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.

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3. Based upon the survey, 73 percent of Americans believe medical scientists should play a major role in the development of childhood vaccine policy. Additionally, 47 percent of respondents said the general public should also play a role in the development of such policies, 27 percent said leaders of the pharmaceutical industry should play a role, 26 percent said health insurance company leaders should be involved and 25 percent said elected officials should aid in the development of such policies.

4. Among liberals, 90 percent support vaccine requirements and 9 percent say parents should choose whether to inoculate their children. Among moderates, 84 percent support requirements and 15 percent believe parents should choose. Among conservatives, 73 percent support vaccine requirements and 25 percent say parents should decide whether or not to vaccinate their children.

To read Pew's report on the survey findings, click here.

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