Although an anti-vaccine movement has continued to grow in Texas, the vast majority of voters support requiring vaccinations for Texas children, results from a poll released this week show.
This is the third public opinion survey with very similar findings to be released in Texas in the past nine months.
Overall, 78 percent of voters say vaccinations for diseases such as measles, mumps, and pertussis should be required, according to the newest poll – a University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of registered voters.
Of those 1,200 voters, 86 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent of independents supported mandatory immunizations.
However, 14 percent said governments should not require vaccinations, including 6 percent of Democrats, 18 percent of Republicans, and 23 percent of independent voters.
Those numbers mirror a statewide poll of 750 Republican Party primary voters conducted in July of last year by the Texas Public Health Coalition.
According to that poll, 86 percent of Republicans said they support requiring school-age children to be immunized in order to attend public school. Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) said they “strongly support” such requirements.
A third survey, whose results were released in August 2018, found similar support for childhood immunization mandates. In that survey of 1,005 adult Texans, 78 percent said they believe healthy children should be vaccinated against diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella to attend public school. That survey was conducted for the Texas Lyceum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group designed to identify up-and-coming Texas leaders.
Since 2003, Texas has seen a more-than-2,000-percent increase in vaccine exemptions – sometimes called conscientious objections – in Texas public schools. Nonetheless, statewide vaccination rates for Texas kindergarteners and seventh graders remain above 96 percent, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
TMA actively works to improve vaccination rates in Texas through legislative advocacy and its Be Wise — ImmunizeSM program. More than 360,000 shots have been given to Texas children, adolescents, and adults since the program began in 2004. It is funded in 2019 by the TMA Foundation thanks to H-E-B, TMF Health Quality Institute, Pfizer Inc., and gifts from physicians and their families.