MONDAY, July 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Just under half of U.S. adults have some doubts about vaccine safety, according to a survey released by the American Osteopathic Association.
The Harris Poll, on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, conducted an online survey of 2,007 U.S. adults from May 28 to 30, 2019.
Survey results showed that 55 percent of respondents said they do not doubt the safety of vaccines. When asked another way, 82 percent of respondents said they either "think the benefits of vaccination outweigh the potential risks of vaccine side effects" or "think vaccines are safe and effective." However, 8 percent selected responses expressing serious doubt and an additional 9 percent said they were unsure. The top three doubt-causing sources were online articles (16 percent), past secrets/wrongdoing by the pharmaceutical industry (16 percent), and information from medical experts (12 percent).
"The number of people who believe vaccines are dangerous and refuse to get them is still relatively small," Rachel Shmuts, D.O., a psychiatrist from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, said in a statement. "However, online support groups seem to solidify their beliefs, making them less susceptible to influence from their neighbors and real-world communities."