New Poll: Americans Want Mandatory Vaccines

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A measles vaccine at the Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A new poll conducted by Ipsos for Reuters found that 78 percent of Americans believe all children should be vaccinated. Just over 70 percent think schools should be able to suspend unvaccinated students during outbreaks of contagious diseases. And 65 percent think schools should be able to refuse enrollment to unvaccinated children.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey have both said in recent weeks that parents should be allowed to choose whether to vaccinate their children. Most Americans, however, disagree.

According to the poll, only 38 percent of Americans favor parental choice. And more than 40 percent did not agree that parents should be allowed to choose whether to vaccinate.

The poll comes months after an outbreak of measles at a California Disneyland theme park, which has sparked a heated national debate. An unvaccinated person visited the park, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, before the outbreak began in December.

So far this year, there have been three measles outbreaks in the United States, resulting in 154 confirmed cases, according to the CDC.