Jenny McCarthy is a former Playboy bunny but many people know her for her autism advocacy against vaccines. While McCarthy is not an academic or vaccine expert, 24 percent of parents in a recent University of Michigan survey said they trusted celebrities like her for vaccine information.
Researchers were interested in assessing which sources about vaccines parents trust and how best to disseminate evidence about vaccine safety. The study was published online this month in the journal “Pediatrics.”
“Most parents reported they relied on their child’s doctor for accurate information. But the opinions of friends, relatives, public health officials and nurses were also considered, according to a national survey of 1,552 parents of children under 18 that asked them to rate the degree to which they trusted various sources of information about vaccines using the following terms: a lot, some or none. (More on Time.com: A Little-Known Problem in Children With Autism: Wandering Away)…”
“Most parents — 76% — ranked their doctor’s advice highest, but 67% placed “some” trust in family and friends and 65% trusted parents who thought vaccines had harmed their children. Just 2% of parents trusted celebrities “a lot,” but 24% trusted them to “some” extent.”
“ ‘It’s great that parents trust physicians as their primary source for vaccine information, but it’s terribly concerning that 24% of parents have some trust in information provided by celebrities,’ says Gary Freed, chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at the University of Michigan. (More on Time.com: Bill Gates Chats With CNN’s Sanjay Gupta About the Vaccines-Autism Myth)”
Who do you trust for vaccine information? Do you find Jenny McCarty credible? What about other celebrities?
Do you trust celebrities for other advice about parenting or health?
Do you have a mom friend that you trust the most for health advice? (Keith, my former fill-in host, is definitely my brain trust. I think she is so smart with all things kids.)
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. I have increased my Twitter activity. I am sending out great stories for moms each day focusing on health, fitness, sex, entertainment, food, travel and obviously parenting! So follow me on Twitter at @AJCMOMania!)