Vaccination views and the news

by David Bruce


Vaccination image

Debate concerning the virtues of compulsory vaccinations for infants and young children has been a hot topic in the Australian news media for some time. Whether dialogue is taking place on talk back radio, through online forums, in print or featured in televised programs, advocates from both sides of the debate do their best to convince the public their position is in the better interests of children everywhere.


Last month Newspoll set out to examine this issue more closely by; (a) measuring community support for vaccinations around the nation, and (b) investigating the level of influence the news media has in shaping individual opinions. The study, of n=1207 Australian adults aged 18-64, yielded some interesting insights.


While approximately nine in ten Australians are in favour of vaccinations for infants and young children, support is not universal – particularly among adults aged 18 to 34. And while half of all respondents recalled seeing or hearing something in the news media on this issue, messages recalled tended to reinforce, rather than influence, pre-existing viewpoints. Of course, there were some notable exceptions, particularly among Australians who remain undecided on the vaccination issue.


The full report is available here.


Note By its nature online panel based research can provide indicative information about the Australian population – but is not suitable for highly accurate and dependable measurement. This study was conducted as an initial investigation of a topic of interest to us and our clients, utilising a suitable space that was available in our online omnibus program. If this study was to be commissioned by a client, we would recommend it be conducted in our flagship weekly Telephone Omnibus.

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