Highlighting Consensus Among Medical Scientists Increases Public Support for Vaccines

Evidence From a Randomized Experiment

Sander L. van der Linden; Chris E. Clarke; Edward W. Maibach


BMC Public Health. 2015;15(1207) 

In This Article


Results of this study suggest that highlighting the degree of medical consensus about (childhood) vaccine safety is likely to increase public support for vaccines both directly as well as indirectly by reducing influential misperceptions about the vaccine-autism link. In short, communicating the scientific consensus on vaccine safety is likely to be an effective pro-vaccine message that could help prevent current immunization rates from declining. We recommend that clinicians and public health officials emphasize the high degree of medical consensus on (childhood) vaccine safety whenever possible.