The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds that 60 percent of Americans believe all children should be required to receive vaccinations against diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough. Thirty-seven percent say parents should be allowed to decide whether or not to vaccinate their kids.
If children are not vaccinated, then a majority—52 percent—of Americans say unvaccinated children should not be allowed to attend public schools. Forty-four percent disagree, saying unvaccinated kids should be allowed to attend public schools.
Democrats (65%) are the most likely political group, followed by Republicans (58%), to say all children must be vaccinated. Independents are the most likely group to say parents should choose, and are evenly divided at 48 percent.
Age also increases the desire to require child vaccinations. For instance, a slim majority (51%) of millennials wants to require vaccinations, compared to 67 percent of Americans over 55.
Americans who prefer smaller government are the most likely (50%) to say unvaccinated children should be allowed to attend public schools. In contrast, among those who favor larger government, 6 in 10 say unvaccinated children should be prohibited from attending public schools.
The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1004 adults on cell phones (503) and landlines (501) October 1-6, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results can be found here. including poll toplines (pdf) and crosstabs (xls).