Do Americans Trust Vaccines?
The number that do not is alarming.
The majority of people worldwide think vaccines are safe, according to a new global survey, but the share of doubters is still high enough to threaten immunity. The survey, conducted by Gallup and health research charity Wellcome, polled more than 140,000 people across the globe about their attitudes on vaccine safety, among other topics. Today, vaccines are constantly in the spotlight from vaccine adverse events, to vaccine exemptions, to measles or mumps outbreaks. The anti-vax movement, which is premised upon the freedom to accept or reject vaccines, has taken significant criticisms in the media due to the fact that measles outbreaks have occurred in communities with strong anti-vax ties.
The Key to Eradicating Disease Is Widespread Vaccination
Globally, 79% of survey respondents agreed that “vaccines are safe,” while only 7% disagreed and the breakdown of those who felt vaccines are effective was similar. About 6% of parents worldwide said their children are unvaccinated, mostly in areas such as Africa and Asia where access to vaccines is lower.
While the rate of distrust in vaccines may seem low, developing what experts call “herd immunity”—whereby enough of a population is protected from a disease to minimize its transmission—relies on widespread vaccination, often at levels above 90%. For example, the key to eradicating measles in a region is getting that region to at least 95% vaccination coverage, according to the World Health Organization.
Wealthy Regions With Low Disease Rates Mistrust Vaccines More
This same study found that wealthier regions, where infectious disease rates tend to be relatively low, reported the least trust in vaccines, while poorer regions, which often correlate with high rates of communicable disease, reported the most trust. The U.S., alarmingly, had approximately 72% of people agreeing that vaccines are safe. In general, people who said they believe vaccines are safe were also more likely to trust scientists and health professionals, the survey shows.
However, at the regional level, there are trends that emerge: Poorer regions generally reported stronger belief in vaccines and lower levels of trust in scientists, while wealthier parts of the world—which tend to have better science education programs than poorer areas—tended to have weaker beliefs in vaccine, and higher levels of trust in scientists.
Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Enters Debate
Recent articles and reports about the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program have given anti-vax supports a new thread to pull on. Their belief is that, if vaccines do not cause harm, then why is there a governmental program designed to compensate vaccine injuries? In addition, if vaccine injuries are rare, how has the government paid out over $4 billion to vaccine injured victims?
Vaccine Injuries Are Unavoidable But Can Be Compensated
Vaccine injuries are rare and there is no dispute to that fact. In the vaccine program, only approximately 1,300 cases have been filed annually over the last three years. That number, compared with the hundreds of millions of vaccines administered every year, confirm that either vaccine injuries are extremely rare, or that such injuries are severely underreported. One thing is for certain, vaccine injuries are not rampant, and they are not an epidemic.
Common Types of Vaccine Injuries
However, vaccine injuries are real, reported, and confirmed by medical professionals and the scientific literature. The other most commonly compensated injury in the Vaccine Program is Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Individuals who have experienced Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) after the flu shot (influenza vaccine), or a shoulder injury after receiving the tetanus (Tdap, Dtap, DPT) or flu shot are more likely to have their case compensated in the Vaccine Court.
Licensed Vaccine Attorney
David Carney, Esquire, at the law firm of Green & Schafle LLC, is a skilled vaccine lawyer, licensed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. He has been representing vaccine-injured clients nationwide for the last decade and he is currently the Vice President of the Vaccine Injured Petitioners Bar Association, the national organization dedicated to the representation of individuals with vaccine injuries.
If you or someone you know needs a vaccine lawyer, please contact the licensed vaccine lawyers at Green & Schafle LLC. We have a licensed vaccine lawyer to handle your vaccine injury claim no matter which state you live in.