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Most Ohio adults think vaccinations should be required for schoolchildren

Nov 6, 2019


The Ohio Health Issues Poll is conducted every year to learn more about the health Opinions, behaviors and status of Ohio adults. In 2019, OHIP asked Ohio adults about routine vaccinations for children.


8 in 10 say children should be vaccinated to attend public school

OHIP asked Ohio adults which of the following statements was closer to their view about childhood vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella: 

  • "Parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children, even if that may create health risks for other children and adults."
  • "Healthy children should be required to be vaccinated in order to attend public schools because of the potential risk for others when children are not vaccinated."

About 8 in 10 Ohio adults (82%) said that children should be required to be vaccinated to attend public school. Fewer than 2 in 10 (16%) felt that parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children. These results are similar to the nation. A 2016 study by Pew Research Center, the most recent data available, found that 82% of adults nationwide thought children should be required to be vaccinated. Only 17% said that parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children.1

Some adults more likely to think vaccines should not be required

Responses varied by age and the presence of children in a household. Younger adults ages 18 to 45 (23%) were more likely than those ages 46 and older (12%) to say that parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children. Additionally, adults living in a household with children (23%) were more likely than those living in a household with no children (12%) to say that vaccines should not be required for children to attend public schools.

Why we ask these questions

Childhood vaccinations are a safe way to prevent disease and keep young children healthy.2 Research has shown no known benefits from delaying or skipping vaccinations.3

Nationally more than 90% of children receive recommended vaccines, but certain groups are less likely to be vaccinated. These include children in rural or medically underserved areas and those who are on Medicaid or are uninsured. Additionally, a small but growing percentage of families choose not to vaccinate their children younger than age 2.4

For information about the current CDC recommended immunization schedule, please visit

What's Happening Now

Immunize Ohio is a nonprofit collaborative group of Ohio health care professionals with a mission to improve immunization coverage in Ohio through education. Immunize Ohio believes that providing and promoting vaccine education can protect the health of Ohio communities and deter the reappearance of once common diseases preventable by vaccine. For more information on Immunize Ohio, please visit

1. Pew Research Center. (2017). Vast Majority of Americans Say Benefits of Childhood Vaccines Outweigh Risks. Retrieved from
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Why Vaccinate. Retrieved from https://
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Risks of Delaying or Skipping Vaccines. Retrieved from
4. Hill HA, Elam-Evans LD, Yankey D, Singleton JA, Kang Y. Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19-35 Months — United States, 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1123-1128. DOI:

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