Creighton University Professors Research Why Parents Refuse Child Vaccinations

Oct. 29, 2020, 4:15 p.m. ·

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Two Creighton University professors have recently published research that explores the rising anti-vaccination trend, specifically in California.

The "Opting Out: Individualism and Vaccine Refusal in Pockets of Socioeconomic Homogeneity" study by Kevin Estep and Pierce Greenberg found that people with similar vaccination views tend to live near each other. Professor Estep said affluent families have more freedom to live in places that go with their beliefs.

“Sometimes each of those places can make rejecting the public health recommendations feel like that's a safe choice," Estep said. "And it's one that they're not going to be judged for by their peers.”

Professor Estep said pockets of resistance are created when all these factors come together and could apply to mask wearing too. Last year the U.S. experienced its highest number of measles cases in 25 years. Greenberg and Estep recommend a place-based approach for public health measures so vaccination will be associated with good parenting.