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1.  Measles immunisation: feasibility of a 90% target uptake. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1987;62(12):1209-1214.
A three part investigation of the factors that might influence uptake of immunisation was carried out in Maidstone Health Authority; this included studies of the computer system and attitudes of parents and professionals. Several problems with immunisation scheduling, information transfer between general practitioners and clinics and the computer centre, and validity of computer information were identified. The attitudes of parents, relatives, and friends were generally favourable, although parents reported a lack of knowledge about the disease and vaccine and lack of advice from professionals. Perceived contraindications to immunisation, particularly a history of measles, were important reasons for non-uptake. Professionals' perceptions of contraindications, however, were at variance with Department of Health and Social Security guidelines and none of the recorded contraindications was valid. Calculations of potential uptake suggest that a 90% target uptake is feasible and recommendations are made for changes in services.
PMCID: PMC1778613  PMID: 3435154
2.  Second dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: questionnaire survey of health professionals 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2001;322(7278):82-85.
To determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices among health professionals regarding the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, particularly the second dose.
Self administered postal questionnaire survey.
North Wales Health Authority, 1998.
148 health visitors, 239 practice nurses, and 206 general practitioners.
Main outcome measures
Respondents' views on MMR vaccination, including their views on the likelihood of an association with autism and Crohn's disease and on who is the best person to give advice to parents, whether they agree with the policy of a second dose of the vaccine, and how confident they are in explaining the rationale behind the second dose.
Concerning the second dose of the vaccine, 48% of the professionals (220/460) had reservations and 3% (15) disagreed with the policy of giving it. Over half the professionals nominated health visitors as the best initial source of advice on the second vaccine. 61% of health visitors (86/140), compared with 46% of general practitioners (73/158), reported feeling very confident about explaining the rationale of a two dose schedule to a well informed parent, but only 20% (28/138) would unequivocally recommend the second dose to a wavering parent. 33% of the practice nurses (54/163) stated that the MMR vaccine was very likely or possibly associated with Crohn's disease and 27% (44/164) that it was associated with autism. Nearly a fifth of general practitioners (27/158) reported that they had not read the MMR section in the “green book,” and 29% (44/152) reported that they had not received the Health Education Authority's factsheet on MMR immunisation.
Knowledge and practice among health professionals regarding the second dose of the MMR vaccine vary widely. Many professionals are not aware of or do not use the good written resources that exist, though local educational initiatives could remedy this.
PMCID: PMC26597  PMID: 11154622
3.  The effectiveness of telephone reminders and home visits to improve measles, mumps and rubella immunization coverage rates in children 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2011;16(1):e1-e5.
In the Saskatoon Health Region (Saskatchewan), only 67.4% of children overall are fully immunized for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) at 24 months of age, with only 43.7% of low-income children fully immunized.
Parents of children who were behind in MMR immunizations were contacted to determine knowledge about, beliefs toward and barriers to immunization. The effectiveness of a telephone reminder system in improving immunization rates in a health region compared with a control health region was determined. Finally, the effectiveness of telephone reminders versus telephone reminders combined with home visits in improving child immunization coverage rates in low-income neighbourhoods was compared.
The survey was completed by 629 parents (69% response rate). Of those, 81.8% were not aware that their child was behind in immunizations. In the Saskatoon Health Region, the MMR immunization coverage increased from 67.4% to 74.0% in the first year of intervention (rate ratio = 1.10; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.12). All four neighbourhood groupings (three urban by income and one rural) had relative increases ranging from 9% to 11%. The control health region observed an immunization coverage increase from 66.5% to 69.2% in the first year (rate ratio = 1.04; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.07). The three low-income neighbourhoods with only telephone reminders had an immunization coverage rate of 48.7% (95% CI 39.5% to 57.8%). The three low-income neighbourhoods that received a telephone reminder and home visit had an immunization coverage rate of 60.5% (95% CI 52.5% to 68.6%).
Telephone reminder systems have some benefit in increasing child immunization coverage rates.
PMCID: PMC3043026  PMID: 22211079
Children; Immunization; Intervention studies
4.  Equity and vaccine uptake: a cross-sectional study of measles vaccination in Lasbela District, Pakistan 
Achieving equity means increased uptake of health services for those who need it most. But the poorest families continue to have the poorest service. In Pakistan, large numbers of children do not access vaccination against measles despite the national government's effort to achieve universal coverage.
A cross-sectional study of a random sample of 23 rural and 9 urban communities in the Lasbela district of south Pakistan, explored knowledge, attitudes and discussion around measles vaccination. Several socioeconomic variables allowed examination of the role of inequities in vaccination uptake; 2479 mothers provided information about 4007 children aged 10 to 59 months. A Mantel-Haenszel stratification analysis, with and without adjustment for clustering, clarified determinants of measles vaccination in urban and rural areas.
A high proportion of mothers had appropriate knowledge of and positive attitudes to vaccination; many discussed vaccination, but only one half of children aged 10-59 months accessed vaccination. In urban areas, having an educated mother, discussing vaccinations, having correct knowledge about vaccinations, living in a community with a government vaccination facility within 5 km, and living in houses with better roofs were associated with vaccination uptake after adjusting for the effect of each of these variables and for clustering; maternal education was an equity factor even among those with good access. In rural areas, the combination of roof quality and access (vaccination post within 5 km) along with discussion about vaccines and knowledge about vaccines had an effect on uptake.
Stagnating rates of vaccination coverage may be related to increasing inequities. A hopeful finding is that discussion about vaccines and knowledge about vaccines had a positive effect that was independent of the negative effect of inequity - in both urban and rural areas. At least as a short term strategy, there seems to be reason to expect an intervention increasing knowledge and discussion about vaccination in this district might increase uptake.
PMCID: PMC3226239  PMID: 19828065
5.  The two-dose measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunisation schedule: factors affecting maternal intention to vaccinate. 
BACKGROUND: In the light of sub-optimal uptake of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination, we investigated the factors that influence the intentions of mothers to vaccinate. METHOD: A cross-sectional survey of 300 mothers in Birmingham with children approaching a routine MMR vaccination was conducted using a postal questionnaire to measure: intention to vaccinate, psychological variables, knowledge of the vaccine, and socioeconomic status. The vaccination status of the children was obtained from South Birmingham Child Health Surveillance Unit. RESULTS: The response rate was 59%. Fewer mothers approaching the second MMR vaccination (Group 2) intended to take their children for this vaccination than Group 1 (mothers approaching the first MMR vaccination) (Mann-Whitney U = 2180, P < 0.0001). Group 2 expressed more negative beliefs about the outcome of having the MMR vaccine ('vaccine outcome beliefs') (Mann-Whitney U = 2155, P < 0.0001), were more likely to believe it was 'unsafe' (chi 2 = 9.114, P = 0.004) and that it rarely protected (chi 2 = 6.882, P = 0.014) than Group 1. The commonest side-effect cited was general malaise, but 29.8% cited autism. The most trusted source of information was the general practitioner but the most common source of information on side-effects was television (34.6%). Multiple linear regression revealed that, in Group 1, only 'vaccine outcome beliefs' significantly predicted intention (77.1% of the variance). In Group 2 'vaccine outcome beliefs', attitude to the MMR vaccine, and prior MMR status all predicted intention (93% of the variance). CONCLUSION: A major reason for the low uptake of the MMR vaccination is that it is not perceived to be important for children's health, particularly the second dose. Health education from GPs is likely to have a considerable impact.
PMCID: PMC1313883  PMID: 11224968
6.  Measles Outbreak Associated with a Church Congregation: A Study of Immunization Attitudes of Congregation Members 
Public Health Reports  2008;123(2):126-134.
Although measles has not been endemic in the U.S. since 1997 due to high vaccination coverage, recent U.S. measles outbreaks have been associated with individuals and groups who have refused vaccination for philosophical, cultural, or religious reasons. One such outbreak occurred in Indiana among a group of church members in May and June of 2005. Our objectives were to: (1) determine attitudes and beliefs of church leaders and members regarding vaccinations and the outbreak experience, (2) describe reasons for vaccine acceptance and nonacceptance, and (3) assess the feasibility of a knowledge and attitudes study in the context of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak.
We conducted a focus group with church leaders and families and held 12 structured household interviews with church members directly and indirectly involved in the outbreaks.
A combination of safety concerns, personal experience, and religious beliefs contributed to vaccination refusal among a subgroup of church members. While the experience with measles disease did not necessarily translate into a more positive perception of vaccines, most families that refused vaccination would accept some future vaccines under unique circumstances, such as disease presence in the community or if vaccination could be delayed until a child was older.
Lessons learned from this outbreak experience can inform future outbreak investigations elsewhere. Maintaining open communication with parents who refuse immunizations, as well as working with their trusted social networks, can help public health professionals facilitate alternative means of disease control during a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak in the community.
PMCID: PMC2239322  PMID: 18457065
7.  Effect of Measles Vaccination on Incidence of Measles in the Community 
British Medical Journal  1971;1(5751):698-702.
A study of the effect of measles vaccination on the incidence of the disease in eight separate areas of England and Wales was begun in 1966. It showed an inverse association between the proportion of children vaccinated and the incidence of measles in the area in the following year, but measles epidemics occurred in several of the areas in subsequent years, despite continuing vaccinations.
Measles vaccination was introduced on a large scale in Britain in 1968. Analysis of the notification and vaccination statistics shows that the vaccination of about 10% of the child population (under 15 years) in 1968 sufficed to “replace” the measles epidemic which had been expected in the period October 1968 to September 1969 by a low incidence of the disease, typical of that in previous “interepidemic” years. Further, the effect of the vaccinations was to prevent the development of natural measles in susceptible unvaccinated children as well as in the vaccinated subjects. Thus the number of immune subjects in the community was increased by the vaccinations, but as a result there was a reduction in the number of subjects who acquired immunity from natural measles. These opposed results can therefore explain why vaccination may be effective in the community for only a year or two, though vaccination protects the individual for much longer.
It is estimated that a continuing vaccination rate of 40 to 50% of the children born each year would be necessary to replace the regular biennial measles epidemics in Britain by a continuous endemic incidence, and might perhaps lead to the disappearance of the disease without a further major epidemic, but that a continuing vaccination rate of 80 to 90% of children born each year would then be necessary to prevent its reintroduction. The long-term control of measles by vaccination will thus probably prove more difficult than for any other infectious disease.
PMCID: PMC1795460  PMID: 5551243
8.  Measles immunisation: results of a local programme to increase vaccine uptake. 
Investigations showed that the measles immunisation programme in our health board was a failure. Surveys of health care staff and parents to determine the cause of the problem identified several aspects of concern: the immunisation of children was often left to parental initiative, with only 29% of general practitioners playing an active part in recalling children by the 15th month of age; general practitioners, clinical medical officers, paediatricians, and health visitors all required education on several aspects of measles immunisation; parents also required more information about the importance of preventing this disease. A coordinated effort to remedy these problems was introduced which achieved an increase of 13% in vaccine uptake during 1984. These findings may have implications beyond our own area.
PMCID: PMC1416136  PMID: 3924229
9.  Study of children not immunised for measles. 
The results of a survey of the 165 children born in 1980 in a population served by a health centre showed that 42 were not immunised against measles. The reasons for non-immunisation included 18 refusals (usually on the grounds of incorrect contraindications) and 19 defaulters (where the children were not brought for immunisation). Twenty of the children had contracted measles by March 1984. Among the 19 defaulters 12 had been registered with the health centre since age six months or under. Their average number of consultations a year was four. None of the 42 children had Department of Health and Social Security recommended contraindications to measles immunisation.
PMCID: PMC1415612  PMID: 3922509
10.  A cluster randomised controlled trial of a web based decision aid to support parents’ decisions about their child's Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination☆ 
Vaccine  2013;31(50):6003-6010.
•The use of decision aids for immunisation decisions is under researched and controversial.•Parents receiving a decision aid or a leaflet had reduced decisional conflict for the MMR decision.•MMR uptake in the decision aid and control arms achieved levels required for population immunity.•Leaflet arm parents were less likely to vaccinate their child.•Childhood immunisation decision aids can achieve both informed decision-making and uptake.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a web based decision aid versus a leaflet versus, usual practice in reducing parents’ decisional conflict for the first dose MMR vaccination decision. The, impact on MMR vaccine uptake was also explored.
Three-arm cluster randomised controlled trial. Setting: Fifty GP practices in the north of, England. Participants: 220 first time parents making a first dose MMR decision. Interventions: Web, based MMR decision aid plus usual practice, MMR leaflet plus usual practice versus usual practice only, (control). Main outcome measures: Decisional conflict was the primary outcome and used as the, measure of parents’ levels of informed decision-making. MMR uptake was a secondary outcome.
Decisional conflict decreased post-intervention for both intervention arms to a level where, parents could make an informed MMR decision (decision aid: effect estimate = 1.09, 95% CI −1.36 to −0.82; information leaflet: effect estimate = −0.67, 95% CI −0.88 to −0.46). Trial arm was significantly, associated (p < 0.001) with decisional conflict at post-intervention. Vaccination uptake was 100%, 91%, and 99% in the decision aid, leaflet and control arms, respectively (χ2 (1, N = 203) = 8.69; p = 0.017). Post-hoc tests revealed a statistically significant difference in uptake between the information leaflet, and the usual practice arms (p = 0.04), and a near statistically significant difference between the, decision aid and leaflet arms (p = 0.05).
Parents’ decisional conflict was reduced in both, the decision aid and leaflet arms. The decision aid also prompted parents to act upon that decision and, vaccinate their child. Achieving both outcomes is fundamental to the integration of immunisation, decision aids within routine practice. Trial registration: ISRCTN72521372.
PMCID: PMC3898271  PMID: 24148574
MMR; Measles; Decision aid; Decisional conflict; Leaflet
11.  Failure to vaccinate children against measles during the second year of life. An analysis of immunization practices in two Tennessee county health departments. 
Public Health Reports  1976;91(2):133-137.
In many Tennessee counties, children under the care of health departments have low measles vaccination levels. An immunization survey and a health department record audit of 2-year-olds were undertaken in two counties to determine the reasons for this situation. The results indicated that faulty clinic procedures played a large part in the failure to vaccinate against measles. Nearly half of the unvaccinated 2-year-olds with health department records had been present in the health department clinic at the appropriate age for measles vaccination; the remainder had dropped out of the well-child program before their first birthday. Emphasis on tuberculin skin testing and delay in the administration of the basic series of DTP immunizations correlated with the failure to vaccinate against measles. For more than half of the children who attended the clinic after their first birthday, no reason was recorded for the failure to vaccinate them against measles. Improved clinic procedures could bring measles vaccination levels within the acceptable range. These procedures would include new methods for correcting immunization delinquency, simultaneous tuberculin skin testing and measles vaccination of children without a history of tuberculosis exposure, emphasis on vaccinating at-risk groups, and more convenient vaccination clinic hours.
PMCID: PMC1438513  PMID: 822461
12.  Measles Susceptibility in Children in Karachi, Pakistan 
Vaccine  2011;29(18):3419-3423.
Measles, despite being vaccine preventable is still a major public health problem in many developing countries. We estimated the proportion of measles susceptible children in Karachi, the largest metropolitan city of Pakistan, one year after the nationwide measles supplementary immunization activity (SIA) of 2007–08. Oral fluid specimens of 504 randomly selected children from Karachi, aged 12–59 months were collected to detect measles IgG antibodies. Measles antibodies were detected in only 55% children. The proportion of children whose families reported receiving a single or two doses of measles vaccine were 78% and 12% respectively. Only 3% of parents reported that their child received measles vaccine through the SIA. Among the reported single dose measles vaccine recipients, 58% had serologic immunity against measles while amongst the reported two dose measles vaccine recipients, 64% had evidence of measles immunity. Urgent strengthening of routine immunization services and high quality mass vaccination campaigns against measles are recommended to achieve measles elimination in Pakistan.
PMCID: PMC3082702  PMID: 21396902
Measles; Pakistan; vaccination; seroprevalence
13.  Morbidity in whooping cough and measles. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1989;64(10):1442-1445.
Parents of 99 children who were admitted to hospital with whooping cough or measles, and of 50 children with whooping cough or measles who were nursed at home, were interviewed to determine the extent of morbidity and its effects on the family. Children admitted with whooping cough or measles spent a mean of 12.6 and 5.8 days in hospital, respectively. Time to full recovery was 13.7 and 2.1 weeks, respectively. Over a third of the children who were admitted were emotionally upset during the admission and for several weeks afterwards. Parental anxiety and exhaustion were common. Routine family life was appreciably disturbed. Advice from health care professionals, based on misconceptions of valid contradictions to immunisation, was the main reason for refusing vaccination.
PMCID: PMC1792798  PMID: 2817928
14.  Measles matters, but do parents know? 
Two hundred and one parents attending three child health clinics were questioned about both measles and immunisation against measles. Most parents were unaware of the symptoms and possible complications of measles and did not believe immunisation to be effective in preventing measles. They did not remember having talked to health professionals about immunisation.
PMCID: PMC1417265  PMID: 3918696
15.  Associations Between Demographic Variables and Multiple Measles-Specific Innate and Cell-Mediated Immune Responses After Measles Vaccination 
Viral Immunology  2012;25(1):29-36.
Measles remains a public health concern due to a lack of vaccine use and vaccine failure. A better understanding of the factors that influence variations in immune responses, including innate/inflammatory and adaptive cellular immune responses, following measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination could increase our knowledge of measles vaccine-induced immunity and potentially lead to better vaccines. Measles-specific innate/inflammatory and adaptive cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses were characterized using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to quantify the levels of secreted IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-α, IFN-γ, IFN-λ1, and TNF-α in PBMC cultures following in vitro stimulation with measles virus (MV) in a cohort of 764 school-aged children. IFN-γ ELISPOT assays were performed to ascertain the number of measles-specific IFN-γ-secreting cells. Cytokine responses were then tested for associations with self-declared demographic data, including gender, race, and ethnicity. Females secreted significantly more TNF-α, IL-6, and IFN-α (p<0.001, p<0.002, p<0.04, respectively) compared to males. Caucasians secreted significantly more IFN-λ1, IL-10, IL-2, TNF-α, IL-6, and IFN-α (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.003, p<0.01, and p<0.02, respectively) compared to the other racial groups combined. Additionally, Caucasians had a greater number of IFN-γ-secreting cells compared to other racial groups (p<0.001). Ethnicity was not significantly correlated with variations in measles-specific CMI measures. Our data suggest that innate/inflammatory and CMI cytokine responses to measles vaccine vary significantly by gender and race. These data further advance our understanding regarding inter-individual and subgroup variations in immune responses to measles vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3271368  PMID: 22239234
16.  Mothers' concept of measles and attitudes towards the measles vaccine in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. 
The attitude of Nigerian mothers, mainly Yoruba, towards measles vaccine and other aspects of prevention are influenced by different perceptions of the cause of measles. There is a significant correlation between the literacy of mothers and their belief in the efficacy of measles vaccine but not between their ages and belief. The mothers' perception of measles is a function of their socioeconomic characteristics, with the lower socioeconomic group tending more to define measles within the supernatural context. The findings indicate the necessity for health education to be based on local culture when promoting vaccination.
PMCID: PMC1052213  PMID: 7142888
17.  Reasons for non-uptake of measles, mumps, and rubella catch up immunisation in a measles epidemic and side effects of the vaccine. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1995;310(6995):1629-1632.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the reasons for poor uptake of immunisation (non-immunisation) and the possible side effects of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine in a catch up immunisation campaign during a community outbreak of measles. DESIGN--Descriptive study of reasons for non-immunisation and retrospective cohort study of side effects of the vaccine. SETTING--Secondary schools in South Glamorgan. SUBJECTS--Random cluster sample of the parents of 500 children targeted but not immunised and a randomised sample of 2866 of the children targeted. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Reasons for non-immunisation; symptoms among immunised and non-immunised children. RESULTS--Immunisation coverage of the campaign was only 43.4% (7633/17,595). The practical problems experienced included non-return of consent forms (6698/17,595), refusal of immunisation (2061/10,897 forms returned), and absence from school on day of immunisation (1203/8836 children with consent for immunisation). The most common reasons cited for non-immunisation were previous measles infection (145/232), previous immunisation against measles (78/232), and concern about side effects (55/232). Symptoms were equally common among immunised and non-immunised subjects. However, significantly more immunised boys than non-immunised boys reported fever (relative risk 2.31 (95% confidence interval 1.36 to 3.93)), rash (2.00 (1.10 to 3.64), joint symptoms (1.58; 1.05 to 2.38), and headache (1.31 (1.04 to 1.65)). CONCLUSIONS--Many of the objections raised by parents could be overcome by emphasising that primary immunisation does not necessarily confer immunity and that diagnosis of measles is unreliable. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine is safe in children aged 11-15.
PMCID: PMC2550008  PMID: 7795447
18.  Parental confidence in measles, mumps and rubella vaccine: evidence from vaccine coverage and attitudinal surveys. 
BACKGROUND: The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has been the focus of considerable adverse publicity in recent years. AIM: To describe recent trends in parental attitudes to, and coverage of, MMR vaccine. DESIGN OF STUDY: Routine surveillance of vaccine coverage and cross-sectional surveys of parental attitudes. SETTING: All health authorities in England (vaccine coverage) and 132 enumeration districts in England (attitude survey). METHOD: Quarterly MMR vaccine coverage for all resident children in England at two years of age was requested from computerised child health information systems. Data was also obtained from 26 English health authorities/trusts on MMR coverage at 16 months of age. The proportion of mothers who believed that MMR vaccine was safe or carried only a slight risk, and the proportion who intended to fully vaccinate any future children, was obtained from biannual interviews with a national representative sample of over 1000 mothers of children under three years of age. RESULTS: Vaccine coverage at two years of age fell 8.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.4 to 8.8) between April and June 1995 and between April and June 2001. In September 2001, 67% of mothers reported that the MMR vaccine was safe or carried only a slight risk and 92% of mothers agreed with the statement: 'If I had another child in the future I would have them fully immunised against all childhood diseases'. CONCLUSIONS: Despite considerable adverse publicity, the fall in MMR coverage has been relatively small, mothers' attitudes to MMR remain positive, and most continue to seek advice on immunisation from health professionals. As the vast majority of mothers are willing to have future children fully immunised, we believe that health professionals should be able to use the available scientific evidence to help to maintain MMR coverage.
PMCID: PMC1314443  PMID: 12434960
19.  Attitudinal and Demographic Predictors of Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine (MMR) Uptake during the UK Catch-Up Campaign 2008–09: Cross-Sectional Survey 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19381.
Background and Objective
Continued suboptimal measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine uptake has re-established measles epidemic risk, prompting a UK catch-up campaign in 2008–09 for children who missed MMR doses at scheduled age. Predictors of vaccine uptake during catch-ups are poorly understood, however evidence from routine schedule uptake suggests demographics and attitudes may be central. This work explored this hypothesis using a robust evidence-based measure.
Cross-sectional self-administered questionnaire with objective behavioural outcome.
Setting and Participants
365 UK parents, whose children were aged 5–18 years and had received <2 MMR doses before the 2008–09 UK catch-up started.
Main Outcome Measures
Parents' attitudes and demographics, parent-reported receipt of invitation to receive catch-up MMR dose(s), and catch-up MMR uptake according to child's medical record (receipt of MMR doses during year 1 of the catch-up).
Perceived social desirability/benefit of MMR uptake (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.09–2.87) and younger child age (OR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.68–0.89) were the only independent predictors of catch-up MMR uptake in the sample overall. Uptake predictors differed by whether the child had received 0 MMR doses or 1 MMR dose before the catch-up. Receipt of catch-up invitation predicted uptake only in the 0 dose group (OR = 3.45, 95% CI = 1.18–10.05), whilst perceived social desirability/benefit of MMR uptake predicted uptake only in the 1 dose group (OR = 9.61, 95% CI = 2.57–35.97). Attitudes and demographics explained only 28% of MMR uptake in the 0 dose group compared with 61% in the 1 dose group.
Catch-up MMR invitations may effectively move children from 0 to 1 MMR doses (unimmunised to partially immunised), whilst attitudinal interventions highlighting social benefits of MMR may effectively move children from 1 to 2 MMR doses (partially to fully immunised). Older children may be best targeted through school-based programmes. A formal evaluation element should be incorporated into future catch-up campaigns to inform their continuing improvement.
PMCID: PMC3094347  PMID: 21602931
20.  Randomised controlled trial of the use of a modified postal reminder card on the uptake of measles vaccination 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1998;79(2):136-140.
OBJECTIVE—To determine whether rewording postal reminder cards according to the "health belief model", a theory about preventive health behaviour, would help to improve measles vaccination rates.
DESIGN—A randomised controlled trial, with blind assessment of outcome status. Parents of children due for their first measles vaccination were randomised to one of two groups, one receiving the health belief model reminder card, the other receiving the usual, neutrally worded card. The proportion of children subsequently vaccinated in each group over a five week period was ascertained from clinical (provider based) records.
SETTING—A local government operated public vaccination clinic.
PARTICIPANTS—Parents of 259 children due for measles vaccination.
MAIN RESULTS—The proportion of children vaccinated in the health belief model card group was 79% compared with 67% of those sent the usual card (95% CI, 2% to 23%), a modest but important improvement.
CONCLUSION—This study illustrates how the effectiveness of a minimal and widely practised intervention to promote vaccination compliance can be improved with negligible additional effort.

PMCID: PMC1717666  PMID: 9797594
21.  Outbreak of measles in a teenage school population: the need to immunize susceptible adolescents. 
Epidemiology and Infection  1994;113(2):355-365.
An outbreak of measles occurred in a community school and the surrounding area in Crowborough, East Sussex, UK, from December 1992 to February 1993. There were 96 suspected cases reported: 66 cases among 1673 students at one school and 30 community cases. The majority of suspected cases were in those aged 11-17 (78%), 2 cases occurred in infants < 1 year old and 8 cases in adults aged 18 years or over. Data collected on 60 (91%) of the 66 suspect school cases showed 56 (93%) had an illness which met a case definition of measles. Eighteen had confirmatory IgM measles antibody. Two cases were hospitalized. The local percentage uptake for measles immunization for the school age years affected varied between 64% and 84%. A survey of parents showed that approximately 74% of the students attending the school had a history of measles immunization. The immunization rates reported by parents for children who developed measles was 21%, (29% based on GP records) compared with 77% for those who remained well. Vaccine efficacy was estimated to be 92%. This outbreak, along with others recently reported in older unimmunized children in the UK, reinforces the need for catch-up immunization programmes to reach this susceptible group of adolescents.
PMCID: PMC2271543  PMID: 7925672
22.  Ethnicity as a correlate of the uptake of the first dose of mumps, measles and rubella vaccine 
The aim of this study was to investigate whether a relationship exists between ethnicity and uptake of the first dose of mumps, measles and rubella (MMR1) vaccination, and to study important factors influencing the parental decision about vaccination. Examination of routine data on uptake of MMR1 vaccine among children living in the London borough of Brent, North West London, for associations with ethnicity was carried out. Six focus group interviews were held and a questionnaire on factors related to immunisation by convenience samples of mothers from Asian, Afro‐Caribbean and White backgrounds was completed. The routine data reported MMR1 vaccine status for 6444 children living in Brent who were aged between 18 months and 3 years on 1 December 2003. A total of 37 mothers took part in the 6 focus group sessions. Significantly higher coverage by MMR1 vaccine in the Asian population (87.1%) compared with Afro‐Caribbeans (74.7%) and the White group (57.5%) was noticed. The qualitative data revealed clear differences between the ethnic groups with respect to awareness of the controversy surrounding MMR vaccination (related to use of English‐language media) and influence of grandparents and health professionals in decisions about immunisation. A multiple logistic regression model showed that although coverage of MMR vaccination increased with increasing socioeconomic status, there was no evidence of a statistically significant interaction between socioeconomic status and ethnicity. An important association between ethnicity and uptake of MMR1 vaccine is observed. This has implications for efforts to improve the currently inadequate levels of MMR vaccination across the population as a whole.
PMCID: PMC2660004  PMID: 17699534
23.  Epidemic measles in Shetland during 1977 and 1978. 
During 1977 and 1978 an unusual epidemic of measles occurred in Shetland, affecting 1032 (5%) of the population. All age groups were represented, and 309 cases occurred in people over 15. Geographical distribution of notified cases ranged from 1% to over one-third of the population aged under 65. All the recognised complications occurred, with a significant excess of respiratory troubles (p less than 0 . 05). Complications were much less common in female patients (p less than 0 . 05). Only about 30% of children under 5 had been vaccinated against the disease, and, based on a sample population, vaccination was found to have had a protective effect of 92%. On cost effectiveness alone, uptake of vaccination by a community as susceptible as that of Shetland should clearly be encouraged and probably given high priority.
PMCID: PMC1504265  PMID: 6780060
24.  Measles immunity and response to revaccination among secondary school children in Cumbria. 
Epidemiology and Infection  1996;116(1):65-70.
The prevalence of antibody to measles virus in 759 children aged 11-18 years attending a secondary school in Cumbria was measured using a salivary IgG antibody capture assay. Serum IgG antibody levels were measured using a plaque reduction neutralization assay in subjects whose saliva was antibody negative. Vaccination histories were obtained from the child health computer and general practice record. A total of 662 pupils (87% of those tested) had detectable measles-specific IgG in saliva. Of the remaining 97, 82 provided blood samples and 29 had serum neutralizing antibody levels above 200 mIU/ml. Afer adjusting for non-participation rates, the proportion considered non-immune (no IgG in saliva and < or = 200 mIU/ml in serum) was 9% overall, ranging from 6% in vaccinated children to 20% in unvaccinated children. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine was given to 50 children of whom 38 provided post-vaccination serum and 32 saliva samples. Thirty (79%) had a fourfold or greater rise in serum neutralizing antibody and 28 (88%) developed IgG antibody in saliva. Half of the children considered non-immune by antibody testing would have been overlooked in a selective vaccination programme targeted at those without a history of prior vaccination. A programme targeted at all school children should substantially reduce the proportion non-immune since a primary or booster response was achieved in three quarters of previously vaccinated children with low antibody levels and in all unvaccinated children. While it is feasible to screen a school-sized population for immunity to measles relatively quickly using a salivary IgG assay, a simple inexpensive field assay would need to be developed before salivary screening and selective vaccination could substitute for universal vaccination of populations at risk of measles outbreaks. The salivary IgG assay provided a sensitive measure of a booster response to vaccination.
PMCID: PMC2271248  PMID: 8626005
25.  Ethnicity and Delay in Measles Vaccination in a Nairobi Slum 
Tropical Medicine and Health  2012;40(2):59-62.
The influence of ethnicity on vaccination uptake in urban slums in Kenya is largely unknown. We examined the disparities in timeliness and coverage of measles vaccination associated with ethnicity in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi. The study used data from the Maternal and Child Health component of the Urbanization, Poverty and Health Dynamics Research Programme undertaken in the Korogocho and Viwandani slums by the African Population and Health Research Center from 2006 to 2010. Vaccination information was collected from children recruited into the study during the first year after birth, and a sub-sample of 2,317 who had been followed throughout the period and had the required information on measles vaccination was included in the analysis. Cox regression analysis was used to determine the association of ethnicity with delayed measles in the slum. We found significant disparities in the coverage and timeliness of measles vaccination between the ethnic groups in Korogocho. The Luhya and minor ethnic groups in the slum were more likely than the Kikuyu to have delayed measles vaccination. Ethnic groups with a high proportion of children with delayed measles vaccination need to be targeted to address cultural barriers to vaccination as part of efforts to improve coverage in urban slums.
PMCID: PMC3475315  PMID: 23097621
Ethnicity; vaccination delay; measles; slum; Kenya

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