Resistance to school vaccination mandates has grown significantly, study finds

For generations of most American families, vaccinating children is one of the things to check off the list of back-to-school chores. But after fierce battles over Covid shots in the past two years, simmering opposition to public school vaccination mandates has grown significantly. now, 35 percent of parents oppose the requirement that children receive routine immunizations to go to school. A new survey Published Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

All states and the District of Columbia mandate that children receive vaccinations against measles, mumps, rubella and other highly contagious, deadly childhood diseases. (Most allow some limited exceptions.)

Throughout the pandemic, the Kaiser Foundation, a nonpartisan health research organization, has been publishing monthly reports on changing attitudes toward Covid vaccines. Studies show a growing political divide on the issue, and a recent study indicates that division now extends to routine childhood vaccinations.

Forty-four percent of adults who identify or lean Republican said in a recent survey that parents should have the right to opt out of school vaccination mandates, up from 20 percent in a 2019 Pew Research Center prepandemic poll. . By contrast, 88 percent of adults who identify as Democrats or lean approved of childhood vaccine requirements, up slightly from 86 percent in 2019.

Overall, the survey found that 28 percent of adults believe parents should have the authority to make school vaccination decisions for their children, up from 16 percent of adults in a 2019 Pew poll.

The shift in positions appears to be less about rejecting scenarios than about the so-called parental rights movement. In fact, 80 percent of parents said the benefits of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines outweighed the risks, down slightly from 83 percent in 2019.

“The concept of taking away parental rights is circulating,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases. “When you frame it simply, it’s very attractive to a certain segment of the population. But what about the right of your children to be safe in school from vaccine-preventable diseases?

However, Dr. O’Leary said he’s not too concerned that school vaccination mandates will be eliminated, but growing parental rights could further slow compliance with state-required immunization schedules, which have long been recognized. Pediatricians.

“We know that a lot of children missed their vaccinations during the epidemic, not because they refused, but because, for many reasons, people didn’t go to the doctor,” he said. “We have a global decline in vaccine coverage, so now is not the time to consider rolling back these laws.

The latest poll is based on interviews with a national sample of 1,259 adults and was conducted from November 29 to December 8.

It showed disappointing rates for the latest Covid booster, a “bivalent” shot that targets both the original coronavirus and the Omicron variant and has been available since September. Only four in 10 adults said they had received a booster or intended to do so. Among those 65 and older — the highest-risk age group — one in four said they were too busy to get it or didn’t have time to do so.

Even among adults who had received previous Covid vaccinations, the survey found that more than four in 10 felt they did not need this latest shot.

Only a third of respondents said they personally feared getting very sick from Covid, although half expressed general concern about rising Covid rates this winter. More than two-thirds of black and Latino adults fear the rate of Covid-19, compared with four in 10 white adults.

The survey also found that about half of parents are worried that their children might get sick this winter with Covid-19, the flu or RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Landscape of seasonal diseases.

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