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New Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Still Unsure on Autism-Vaccine Link

A new Harris Interactive poll finds that a large percentage of Americans are still uncertain over an alleged link between vaccines and autism, despite a recent investigation alleging that the main research supporting the connection is fraudulent. On Point broadcast a recent segment on this issue with two medical experts. Both said flatly that there is no such link and tried to put the persistent public worries in perspective.

Here's what the Harris polling found:

Just a slim majority of Americans — 52 percent — think vaccines don't cause autism, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found. Conversely, 18 percent are convinced that vaccines, like the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, can cause the disorder, and another 30 percent aren't sure. The poll was conducted last week, following news reports that said the lead researcher of a controversial 1998 study linking autism to the MMR vaccine had used fraudulent research to come to his conclusion.

The poll also found that parents who have lingering doubts about the vaccine were less likely to say that their children were fully vaccinated (86 percent), compared to 98 percent of parents who believe in the safety of vaccines.

This program aired on January 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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