More than three-quarters of Americans say they believe that children should receive vaccines even if their parents object, according to a Reuters–Ipsos poll released Tuesday.
The poll found that 77 percent of those surveyed said children should be vaccinated, regardless of whether their parents object to immunizations.
According to the poll, 85 percent said all children should be required to get vaccinated unless a medical reason, such as an allergy or compromised immune system, would prevent them from doing so.
“Those numbers are not really as high as they should be,” Dr. Jennifer Lighter, an epidemiologist at New York University Langone Health hospital, told Reuters. “It’s putting children at risk and other people at risk who are vulnerable to severe measles if you’re not vaccinating your own child.”
Health officials have said that between 90 and 95 percent of the population must be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity that protects babies and people with weakened immune system issues who have not been vaccinated, Reuters noted.
Less than 4 percent of those surveyed said they believe the measles vaccine is not safe.
So far this year, there have been 764 confirmed measles cases. Officials have called the outbreak “completely avoidable” and attributed it largely to the proliferation of anti-vaccination messaging and misinformation online.
Researchers polled 2,008 adults from April 30 to May 2. The poll has a credibility interval of 3 percentage points.