A few days ago, YouGov released some polling data about people’s attitudes towards child vaccination requirements, asking specifically about ‘measles, mumps, and rubella’ (MMR), ‘infectious diseases’, and ‘COVID-19’. Here’s what they found:
A 71 percent vaccination rate against MMR wouldn’t be near enough to curb chains of transmission. In political terms, it’s an overwhelming majority, but we really need universal uptake–high nineties–for these vaccines alone to prevent transmission. If we left it up to individuals, we would be fucked. Even Democrats, of whom 83 percent think vaccination should be required fall short. Which brings us to sunny point number two…
There’s a nineteen point gap between Democrats and Republicans for the MMR vaccine requirement. This is really bad. It does not bode for public health–and you can be certain that the batshitloonitarian wing–which seems to be controlling much of the agenda of the Republican Party–is underrepresented in that 64 percent.
What’s even worse is that adults who are the most likely to be parents–those under 45–are the least likely to support MMR requirements. Hopefully, some of that is mislearning from COVID that infectious disease doesn’t affect kids (let’s not even go down that rabbit hole of stupid…). Because measles is a stone cold killer, and the long-term effects of rubella on a developing fetus are so severe, it likely made abortion more politically palatable in the U.S (mumps, by the way ‘only’ causes hearing loss).
Like it or not, we have bumped up against the de facto limits of convincing people to be vaccinated. Having followed anti-vaccinationists for years, if the MMR vaccine for children were not required for school, I would be shocked if even 75% of kids would be vaccinated; while 75% seems like a lot, but that wouldn’t be high enough to limit the rare outbreaks we do have. Requirements are effective and necessary.
I guess we can hope that there are a lot of people who oppose requirements, but would gladly get vaccinated, but I wouldn’t count on it.