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February 19, 2015

1 in 5 millennials think vaccines cause autism: Survey

The recent U.S. measles outbreak has reignited a debate on vaccination

Health News Vaccination Debate
Vaccines Alex Brandon/AP

Edwin Garcia, 5, reacts as he gets a vaccination at Carlin Springs Elementary School in Arlington, Va.

According to a new study published by Vox, Americans ages 18 to 29 are more likely to oppose mandatory childhood vaccination and say vaccines can cause autism.

A survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by YouGov, conducted Jan. 26-28, found 21 percent of young adults believe the long-debunked idea that vaccines cause autism, while just 13 percent of all U.S. adults agree.


A recent national measles outbreak stemming from Disneyland in California, which affected 95 people across the U.S. and Mexico, has reignited the debate against whether or not children should be vaccinated. 

As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging parents to get their children vaccinated and in Pennsylvania, which has the nation's second-lowest vaccination rate among kindergarteners because of state exceptions, a state Senator is working to change that by eliminating one of the state's three exceptions.

In addition to publishing the study's findings, Vox also published a piece that debunks several anti-vaccines myths, including the claim that vaccines cause autism.

The science on this issue is very clear: vaccines are safe, and they don't cause autism.

 The myth stems from a medical journal study published in 1996 by later-discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield, the Vox report said.

 It has since been thoroughly debunked: The Lancet retracted the paper, investigators described the research as an "elaborate fraud," and Wakefield lost his medical license.

Still, the damage was done.

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