Vaccine Poll: Strong Public Support for Vaccines

Vast Majority of Americans Say Vaccines Safe, Effective, Have Benefited Them Personally
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WASHINGTON—October 14, 2009—Research!America today released findings from a national poll on vaccines which showed that most Americans believe vaccines are very important to the health of our society (80%) and that they have personally benefited from the development of vaccines over the last 50 years (90%). 

The findings were announced at the Aspen Institute's Aspen Health Forum Highlights event in Washington, which convened health industry leaders, policy experts, government officials and leading scientists. Research!America's vice president of public health partnerships, Karen Goraleski, moderated a panel, "Vaccine Wars: Doctors vs. Pathogens," at the event.

The poll also showed that 68% of Americans believe that discontinuing vaccines in other countries has led to increases in hospitalizations and even deaths, and that without vaccines, childhood diseases that are widely considered a thing of the past will return.

Other findings from the poll showed that:

·         90% of Americans are confident in the safety of vaccines used today;

·         91% of Americans think federal National Institutes of Health funding for vaccine research is important;

·         82% believe it is very important for parents to have their children vaccinated;

·         78% of Americans are confident that the U.S. system ensures an adequate vaccine supply;

·         76% say vaccines pose less of a risk than the diseases they are meant to prevent; and

·         51% of Americans believe parents who do not vaccinate their children put them and their communities at risk; 46% say parents should have the right to choose.

The poll also showed that 68% of Americans support increased federal spending on vaccine research and that 64% favor a research and development tax incentive to encourage private industry to increase its vaccine development efforts.

"This poll tells us that Americans are committed to investing in vaccines for the health of our nation and the world," said Mary Woolley, Research!America's president and CEO. "As Americans, we find ourselves today not only connected to the global spread of H1N1 but also at a turning point in our health care system. Now is the time to embrace the research and technologies, such as vaccines, that have been proven to keep Americans and people everywhere healthier."

About the Poll

Research!America and Wyeth commissioned Charlton Research Company to conduct a telephone survey of 800 voters nationwide in November 2008. The sample is proportionate to the nation's demographics, including geography, gender, income and ethnicity, with a margin of error of ± 3.5%.

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by 500 member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans. Visit

Media Contacts

Robert Shalett
Director of Communications 

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