Most Americans support requiring the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine for public school children in order to protect public health. They see high preventive health benefits of such vaccines, and low risk of side effects, and they consider the benefits of the vaccine to outweigh the risks.Yet, public concerns about childhood vaccines linger in the public discourse, often linked to a now discredited and retracted research study published nearly two decades ago that raised questions about a possible link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism. Despite assurances of vaccine safety from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and a host of other scientific bodies that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not cause autism, a number of prominent figures have expressed concerns about the safety of childhood vaccines.
An overwhelming majority of Americans (82%) support requiring all healthy schoolchildren to be vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella. Some 73% of Americans see high preventive health benefits from use of the MMR vaccine, and 66% believe there is a low risk of side effects from the vaccine. Overall, 88% believe that the benefits of these inoculations outweigh the risks.