Immunizations can protect individuals, families and communities from diseases, and have been a proven tool to improve public health. Data released today show that most Ohio adults think vaccinations should be required for schoolchildren.
The 2019 Ohio Health Issues Poll asked Ohio adults to select the statement they agreed with: that parents could choose not to vaccinate their children, even if that might create risks for other children and adults; or that healthy children should be required to be vaccinated to attend public school. About 8 in 10 Ohio adults (82%) agreed that childhood immunizations should be required.
These data were released today in conjunction with Immunize Ohio’s 14th annual statewide immunization conference.
“Vaccines are one of the most notable public health advances of our lifetimes,” said O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Interact for Health. “Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others has shown that immunizations have saved more than a billion lives and prevented countless illnesses and disabilities. Our friends and loved ones are still susceptible to diseases like measles and influenza, and thus we must continue to encourage protection through immunization.”
The results from OHIP are similar to the nation. According to a 2016 study by Pew Research Center, more than 82% of U.S. adults thought children should be required to be vaccinated, while 17% said parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children.
Data released last month by the CDC show that the vast majority of Ohio kindergartners had received required immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; and chickenpox. CDC estimates that 2.9% of Ohio kindergartners in the 2018-2019 school year had an exemption for one or more of the three vaccines; this is similar to the national exemption rate of 2.5%.
“Immunize Ohio brings together health care professionals around the mission of improving health through immunizations,” said Cindy Modie, director of the nonprofit collaborative. “Ensuring that Ohio families know the benefits of vaccines and that health care providers can adequately educate families is key to protecting the health and well-being of future generations.”
Interact for Health regularly conducts research and collects data in order to monitor and evaluate our region’s health status and to measure public opinions about health policy.
Our Health in Action stories highlight the innovative work our grantees are doing to help reduce tobacco use, address the opioid epidemic and ensure that children can access health care through school-based health centers. We also interview people working on those issues at other organizations across the country to learn what works for them.
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