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Harris Poll Shows Majority Support Parental Vaccination Choice, Say Pharma Has Too Much Influence

Posted May 27 2010 12:00am

Center for personal rights MAJORITY SUPPORT PARENTAL VACCINATION CHOICE ACCORDING TO NEW HARRIS POLL

Over Half Of Parents Say Pharmaceutical Industry Has Too Much Influence Over Government Vaccine Mandates and Support More Safety Research

CHICAGO, IL – A new Harris Interactive poll shows a majority of American parents believe they, rather than the government, should have the final say in which vaccines their children receive.

The poll, commissioned by the Center for Personal Rights, queried a representative sample of American parents about vaccination. The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Center for Personal Rights, Inc. from May 5-11, 2010 among 1,144 parents of children age 17 years or younger.  

Poll results indicate a majority of American parents, 52%, believe that “parents should have the right to decide which vaccines their children receive without government mandates.”

Parents answered other questions consistently. 54% of parents are “concerned that the pharmaceutical industry has undue influence over government vaccine mandates.” 54% agree  that “the government should fund an independent scientific study of fully vaccinated vs.  unvaccinated individuals to assess long-term health outcomes.” 48% of parents are “concerned about serious adverse effects of vaccines.” This poll answer on adverse events is slightly less than the number found in a recent study published in Pediatrics magazine that found that 54% of parents are concerned about serious adverse effects ( HERE ). 42% of parents agree that “all children should receive 69 doses of 16 vaccines before age 18, as recommended by the federal government.”

These parental views are broadly consistent across gender, age, income, number of children, educational levels and regions of the country. Notably, older parents, aged 35 and above (57%), are significantly more likely than their younger peers (47%) to agree that the pharmaceutical industry has undue influence on vaccine mandates. Single parents are more likely to agree than parents in two-parent families across the range of vaccination questions, perhaps reflecting their greater vulnerability to the risks from vaccination adverse events.  

“These poll data should be a wake-up call to the government and the media that a majority of American parents believe that parents, not the state, should decide when and whether to vaccinate their children,” said Mary Holland, co-founder of the Center for Personal Rights.

The American Rally for Personal Rights in downtown Chicago on May 26 ( HERE ) reinforced what the Harris poll shows – that parents are concerned about how the government’s vaccine policy may be affecting their kids, according to rally organizer, Louise Kuo Habakus. “Parents who question vaccine mandates and vaccine safety are routinely marginalized or depicted as fringe in the mainstream media, but this Harris poll proves just the opposite. This poll shows that the majority of American parents believe that parents, not government, should make these decisions; that we need more science and that pharma has undue influence.”

Information on Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States between May 5-11, 2010 among 1,144 parents of children age 17 years or younger by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Center for Personal Rights, Inc. via its ParentQuery omnibus product. Figures for age, sex,
race/ethnicity, education, region, household income, and age of children in household were
weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the parent population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

 For poll results and complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, see the 78-page full statistical report available at http://tinyurl.com/2da43dr or contact Kitty Kurth at 312-617-7288. For information on the May 26th rally, contact Louise Kuo Habakus at 917-553-4634 or louise@americanpersonalrights.org .

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