© 2015 Peter Free
Matthew M. Davis, Sarah J. Clark, Dianne C. Singer, Amilcar Matos-Moreno, and Anna Daly Kauffman, Safer, with more benefits: Parents’ vaccines views shifting, University of Michigan Health System (06 July 2015)
When it comes to dealing with humans . . .
. . . I imagine that an alien being of reasonable intelligence would see us as constituting a primitive animal experiment in evolution:
In May 2015, we asked parents across the U.S. for their opinions about the benefits and safety of vaccines, compared with one year ago. Parents were also asked about their perceptions of the risk of measles and whooping cough for children in the U.S.
This report presents findings from a nationally representative household survey conducted exclusively by GfK Custom Research . . . .
The survey was administered in May 2015 to a randomly selected, stratified group of parents age 18 and older with at least one child age 0-17 (n =1,416) from GfK’s web-enabled KnowledgePanel® that closely resembles the U.S. population.
The sample was subsequently weighted to reflect population figures from the Census Bureau. The survey completion rate was 55% among panel members contacted to participate. The margin of error is ±2 to 3 percentage points.
Outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in 2014 and early in 2015 have sparked national conversations about the benefits and risks of childhood vaccination. In particular, a multi-state outbreak of measles linked to an amusement park in California in 2015 caused widespread concern. In fact, this outbreak followed 23 separate outbreaks of measles in the U.S. in 2014.
The majority of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases occur in unvaccinated individuals. As a result, many medical professionals and public health experts encourage timely vaccination of children and adolescents. However, some parents remain concerned about potential risks of vaccines for their children and seek exemptions from school and daycare entry requirements that exist in all states.
Compared to one year ago, one-third of parents (34%) believe vaccines have more benefit, 61% say they have about the same benefit and 5% of parents think vaccines have less benefit.
With regard to vaccine safety, one-quarter of parents (25%) believe vaccines are safer than they believed one year ago, 68% say their perceptions of vaccine safety have stayed the same and 7% of parents believe that vaccines are less safe than they believed one year ago.
Compared with one year ago, 35% of parents more strongly support vaccination requirements for daycare and school entry, while 6% are less supportive and 59% say their support has not changed.
Parents were also asked their opinions about the risk of measles and whooping cough, compared with one year ago. Two out of every five parents (40%) believe the risk of measles for children in the U.S. is higher than what it was one year ago, while 45% say the risk is about the same and 15% say the risk of measles is lower than it was one year ago.
Similarly, 37% of parents believe the risk of whooping cough is higher for children than it was one year ago, 49% believe the risk is the same and 15% think the risk is lower.
© 2015 Matthew M. Davis, Sarah J. Clark, Dianne C. Singer, Amilcar Matos-Moreno, and Anna Daly Kauffman, Safer, with more benefits: Parents’ vaccines views shifting, University of Michigan Health System (06 July 2015) (resequenced extracts, underlines added)
Notice the small segment of the public that apparently saw the persuasive evidence for vaccination pointing the other way
Rationally, I suppose, I might conclude that this apparently obtuse group may have been a randomness blip signifying nothing.
The cynic in me, however, happily imagines a group of stalwartly obtuse monkey-brained people still surviving in our civilization’s metaphorical trees.
The moral? — Never underestimate humanity’s capacity for clinging to ignorance
Which arguably equally often simply amounts to ingrained (and/or perhaps newly mutated) stupidity.