Too often, younger adults are incorrectly faulted for doing things wrong (e.g., they’re actually doing better than their parents did academically). But, as a recent YouGov poll shows, when it comes to vaccination, younger adults really need to pull their heads out of their collective ass:
This is not good. Before I get to a couple of other disconcerting findings, the full results (pdf) don’t have any crosstabs, so some patterns are hard to tease apart (e.g., geography and race). Anyway, here we go:
1. Whites are more likely than blacks to trust vaccines (i.e., they don’t cause autism). Hispanics are even worse.
2. Higher incomes also yield more trust in vaccination, though this could be conflated with ethnicity.
3. Women and Democrats are far more likely to think vaccination should be mandatory. Independents are downright terrifying. Higher incomes correlate with increased support for mandatory vaccination. Hispanics are the least likely to support mandatory vaccination.
4. Republicans are more likely to have been vaccinated, while 18 – 29 year olds are the least likely to have been vaccinated among all age cohorts (note: this is self-reported). The Northeast and Midwest have higher vaccination rates.
5. Hispanic children are much less likely to have been vaccinated, according to their parents. Shockingly, only 53% of parents aged 18 – 29 have had their kids vaccinated, while 82% parents aged 30 – 49 have. Even though younger parents are more likely to have kids less than fifteen months old, I don’t think this can explain the massive drop off.
That last point terrifies me by the way. Based on these data, it seems we need to do the following:
1. Better outreach to Latinos.
2. We need to make it easier for low-income families to get vaccinated, as well as do a better job communicating with them. There might also be a ‘too well off for Medicaid’ effect here, as $0 – $40,000 annual income are lumped together. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the higher end of that range that is the problem.
3. To the extent ideology is involved, it’s the Villagers’ Blessed Independents who are the problem, not one side of the spectrum or the other. So let’s not ‘politicize’ this, since, like Honey Badger, measles don’t give a shit what your ideology is.
4. We need to get 18 – 29 year olds vaccinated. Now.
In light of how dangerous measles can be, I really wish scientists would invent something simple, like a shot, that could protect us from it. Or something.