• Revenue Cycle Management
  • COVID-19
  • Reimbursement
  • Diabetes Awareness Month
  • Risk Management
  • Patient Retention
  • Staffing
  • Medical Economics® 100th Anniversary
  • Coding and documentation
  • Business of Endocrinology
  • Telehealth
  • Physicians Financial News
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Locum Tenens, brought to you by LocumLife®
  • Weight Management
  • Business of Women's Health
  • Practice Efficiency
  • Finance and Wealth
  • EHRs
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Sponsored Webinars
  • Medical Technology
  • Billing and collections
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Exclusive Content
  • Value-based Care
  • Business of Pediatrics
  • Concierge Medicine 2.0 by Castle Connolly Private Health Partners
  • Practice Growth
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Business of Cardiology
  • Implementing the Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Malpractice
  • Influenza
  • Sexual Health
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Technology
  • Legal and Policy
  • Money
  • Opinion
  • Vaccines
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Relations
  • Careers

Public confidence edges downward for vaccine safety


New survey shows misinformation erodes credibility of immunizations.

doctor vaccinates patient in arm © fotofabrika - stock.adobe.com

© fotofabrika - stock.adobe.com

Public confidence in the safety of vaccines appears to be declining.

A majority of people still believe immunizations are safe for patients. But the percentage has decreased over the last three years or so, according to a new survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

The number of Americans who think vaccines approved for use in the United State are safe was 71% last month, down from 77% in April 2021. The percentage of adults who don’t think vaccines are safe grew from 9% to 16% in the same time.

“There are warning signs in these data that we ignore at our peril,” survey director Kathleen Hall Jamieson said in a news release. Jamieson also is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. “Growing numbers now distrust health-protecting, life-saving vaccines.”

The study was titled “Vaccine Confidence Falls as Belief in Health Misinformation Grows.” Among the highlights:

  • 63% of respondents think it is safer to get the COVID-19 vaccine than the disease itself, down from 75% in April 2021.
  • 26% wrongly think ivermectin is an effective treatment for COVID-19, up from 10% in September 2021. The percentage of people who know that is false rose from 27% to 37%, and the percentage of people unsure dropped from 63% to 38%.
  • 67% of people said they have returned “to their normal, pre-COVID life.”
  • 75% said they never or rarely wear a mask or face covering
  • 16% believe “increased vaccines are why so many kids have autism these days,” up from 10% in April 2021.
  • 12% of people said it was true that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism. That is up from 9% in June 2021, although 70% of respondents correctly recognized that assertion is false.
  • 12% of people said mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 also caused cancer, up from 9% in January this year. The percentage who believe that is false held steady at 58%.
  • 51% of people correctly said an influenza vaccine cannot give you the flu, while 29% of people said the vaccine can give you flu. That finding was the same in January this year.
  • In the survey, there were significant declines in credibility about the safety of vaccines for MMR, pneumonia, and COVID-19.

The Annenberg Center figures were published a day before AMGA, the American Medical Group Association, announced results halfway through its Rise to Immunize campaign for adult patients. The four-year effort is promoting four inoculations: flu; pneumococcal pneumonia; Td/Tdap for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and zoster.

Participating medical groups and health systems have documented more than 11.93 million vaccines in the first two years. The goal is to reach 25 million shots by 2025.

The results so far are impressive, AMGA Chief Medical Officer and AMGA Foundation President John Kennedy, MD, said in a news release. AMGA members “are moving the needle to decrease the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States,” he said.

Related Videos