The only group that has maintained its 2001 level of support for vaccines is highly educated Americans, those with postgraduate degrees. Ninety percent of this group says vaccination is important, essentially unchanged from the 92% in 2015 and 2001. Perceptions of the importance of vaccination declined by at least five percentage points among all other education subgroups.
Broad majorities of Americans also report that they are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of vaccines. Nearly nine in 10 (89%) say they have heard “a great deal” or “a fair amount” about the advantages of vaccinations, up from 83% in 2015 and 73% in 2001. Meanwhile, 79% say they have heard a great deal or a fair amount about the possible disadvantages of vaccines. This is up modestly from 73% in 2015, though it reflects a substantial increase from 39% in 2001.