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WebMD Survey: Safety Biggest Vaccine Worry for Parents

Despite Concerns 77% Will Follow Vaccine Recommendations

Does Vaccine Info Change Vaccine Opinions? continued...

"Having a good relationship and dialogue with your child’s health care provider can help guide you through the [vaccine] information you've found, and can give you a chance to voice concerns and ask questions," Chang says.

Because of the nature of the WebMD survey, which asked questions of WebMD users, participants tended to be savvy about finding health information. But they aren't always willing to change their opinions based on what they find.

For example, the WebMD survey asked whether people had heard that the research originally linking the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism was found to be a fraud.

Vaccine Autism And VaccinesOf the 189 participants who said they knew of this, 28% said they still believed the MMR vaccine can cause autism. On the other hand, 13% said the news changed their minds and that they no longer believe in the vaccine-autism link.

Similarly, WebMD asked respondents if they'd heard of the whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak in California. Of the 690 who said they had, 17% said the news made them more likely to vaccinate their children. But 12% said the news made them no more likely to vaccinate their children. Thirteen percent said that even though they were more likely to vaccinate their kids, they still worried about vaccine side effects.

The WebMD Vaccine Survey

Invitations to respond to the WebMD survey were sent to randomly selected people visiting WebMD.com as well as people visiting WebMD pages on the topics of parenting, pregnancy, and children's vaccines.

The 1,404 adults who qualified for and participated in the survey had at least one child under age 18.  The survey’s  margin of error varied from question to question, but overall the survey is accurate to within plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Mothers made up 84% of the sample. They were a highly educated group, with 46% reporting at least a college degree.

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