A national poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has revealed the extent of the anti-vaccination sentiment in the United States. The survey found that a significant portion of adults hold onto “conspiracy theories” regarding vaccines, including the belief that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism, a claim discredited by extensive studies.
The KFF poll also found that approximately one-third of adults believe that COVID-19 vaccines caused sudden deaths in otherwise healthy individuals. These views have gained traction as vaccine skepticism have risen, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased online presence.
The poll showcased the influence of figures like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has promoted anti-vaccine messages, and the sentiments around vaccine mandates. Despite being on the fringes of political discourse, Kennedy has garnered attention for his views on vaccines.
Notably, the survey highlighted that over a quarter of participants believed COVID-19 vaccines could cause infertility. The poll, called the Health Misinformation Tracking Poll Pilot, collected responses from 2,007 adults between May 23 and June 12, covering alternative views related to COVID-19, vaccines, reproductive health, and firearms.
The spread of vaccine “misinformation” has implications for public health efforts and vaccine uptake, as concerns around vaccines have contributed to a dip in childhood vaccine coverage. The COVID-19 pandemic has further heightened these concerns, leading to vaccine hesitancy.