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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.  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
4.  Why children are not vaccinated against measles: a cross-sectional study in two Nigerian States 
Archives of Public Health  2014;72(1):48.
Childhood vaccination rates in Nigeria are among the lowest in the world and this affects morbidity and mortality rates. A 2011 mixed methods study in two states in Nigeria examined coverage of measles vaccination and reasons for not vaccinating children.
A household survey covered a stratified random cluster sample of 180 enumeration areas in Bauchi and Cross River States. Cluster-adjusted bivariate and then multivariate analysis examined associations between measles vaccination and potential determinants among children aged 12-23 months, including household socio-economic status, parental knowledge and attitudes about vaccination, and access to vaccination services. Focus groups of parents in the same sites subsequently discussed the survey findings and gave reasons for non-vaccination. A knowledge to action strategy shared findings with stakeholders, including state government, local governments and communities, to stimulate evidence-based actions to increase vaccination rates.
Interviewers collected data on 2,836 children aged 12-23 months in Cross River and 2,421 children in Bauchi. Mothers reported 81.8% of children in Cross River and 42.0% in Bauchi had received measles vaccine. In both states, children were more likely to receive measles vaccine if their mothers thought immunisation worthwhile, if immunisation was discussed in the home, if their mothers had more education, and if they had a birth certificate. In Bauchi, maternal awareness about immunization, mothers’ involvement in deciding about immunization, and fathers’ education increased the chances of vaccination. In Cross River, children from communities with a government immunisation facility were more likely to have received measles vaccine. Focus groups revealed lack of knowledge and negative attitudes about vaccination, and complaints about having to pay for vaccination. Health planners in both states used the findings to support efforts to increase vaccination rates.
Measles vaccination remains sub-optimal, particularly in Bauchi. Efforts to counter negative perceptions about vaccination and to ensure vaccinations are actually provided free may help to increase vaccination rates. Parents need to be made aware that vaccination should be free, including for children without a birth certificate, and vaccination could be an opportunity for issuing birth certificates. The study provides pointers for state level planning to increase vaccination rates.
PMCID: PMC4322649  PMID: 25671115
Vaccination; Measles; Immunisation; Children; MDG4; Nigeria
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  An evaluation of the 2012 measles mass vaccination campaign in Guinea 
To estimate the post-campaign level of measles vaccination coverage in Guinea.
Interview of parents and observation of measles vaccination cards of children aged 9 to 59 months during the mass measles campaign. A nationwide cluster randomized sample under health District stratification.
64.2% (95%CI = 60.9% to 67.4%) of children were vaccinated and had their measles vaccination card. With respect to card and history 90.5% (95%CI = 88.3% to 92.3%) were vaccinated. The estimation was found to be between 72.7% and 81.9%. Coverage with card increased from 55.5% to 79.30% with the level of education of parents but that was not statistically significant, (X2(trend) =3.087 P= 0.07). However coverage with card significantly increased with profession from 55.1% for farmers followed by 59.2% for other manual workers to 73.8% for sellers, ending by 74.5% for settled technicians (X2 (trend) =12.16 P= 0.0005). For unvaccinated children, lack of information accounted for the main reason (37.03%) followed by parents’ occupation (23.45%), parents’ sickness (8.6%), children's sickness (4.9%) and others including vaccinators absent in the post or parents’ belief that it was a door to door campaign.
The mass measles vaccination campaign achieved an approximate coverage of 75%. Although not enough for effective control of measles, it has covered an important gap left over by the routine immunization coverage 42%. Appropriate measures are needed to improve coverage in routine immunization and specific actions should be taken to target farmers and other manual workers’ families but also uneducated groups for both routine immunization and mass campaigns.
PMCID: PMC4149790  PMID: 25184021
Measles; immunization; evaluation; vaccination; coverage
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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
13.  Unacceptably High Mortality Related to Measles Epidemics in Niger, Nigeria, and Chad 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e16.
Despite the comprehensive World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) measles mortality–reduction strategy and the Measles Initiative, a partnership of international organizations supporting measles mortality reduction in Africa, certain high-burden countries continue to face recurrent epidemics. To our knowledge, few recent studies have documented measles mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of our study was to investigate measles mortality in three recent epidemics in Niamey (Niger), N'Djamena (Chad), and Adamawa State (Nigeria).
Methods and Findings
We conducted three exhaustive household retrospective mortality surveys in one neighbourhood of each of the three affected areas: Boukoki, Niamey, Niger (April 2004, n = 26,795); Moursal, N'Djamena, Chad (June 2005, n = 21,812); and Dong District, Adamawa State, Nigeria (April 2005, n = 16,249), where n is the total surveyed population in each of the respective areas. Study populations included all persons resident for at least 2 wk prior to the study, a duration encompassing the measles incubation period. Heads of households provided information on measles cases, clinical outcomes up to 30 d after rash onset, and health-seeking behaviour during the epidemic. Measles cases and deaths were ascertained using standard WHO surveillance-case definitions. Our main outcome measures were measles attack rates (ARs) and case fatality ratios (CFRs) by age group, and descriptions of measles complications and health-seeking behaviour. Measles ARs were the highest in children under 5 y old (under 5 y): 17.1% in Boukoki, 17.2% in Moursal, and 24.3% in Dong District. CFRs in under 5-y-olds were 4.6%, 4.0%, and 10.8% in Boukoki, Moursal, and Dong District, respectively. In all sites, more than half of measles cases in children aged under 5 y experienced acute respiratory infection and/or diarrhoea in the 30 d following rash onset. Of measles cases, it was reported that 85.7% (979/1,142) of patients visited a health-care facility within 30 d after rash onset in Boukoki, 73.5% (519/706) in Moursal, and 52.8% (603/1,142) in Dong District.
Children in these countries still face unacceptably high mortality from a completely preventable disease. While the successes of measles mortality–reduction strategies and progress observed in measles control in other countries of the region are laudable and evident, they should not overshadow the need for intensive efforts in countries that have just begun implementation of the WHO/UNICEF comprehensive strategy.
Three household retrospective mortality surveys in parts of West Africa affected by recent measles epidemics found that, despite progress made elsewhere, mortality rates remain unacceptably high.
Editors' Summary
In most developed countries, measles is often now regarded as an uncommon and not very serious childhood illness. The situation in developing countries is totally different; many children get measles, and the consequences can be severe. The main factor accounting for this difference is the much greater availability of vaccination against measles in developed countries. Globally, approximately 410,000 children under the age of 5 y die of measles each year. In developing countries, the death rate among children with measles is 1%–5%, but in refugee situations and among malnourished children, it may reach 10%–30%. The complications of the disease include pneumonia, diarrhea, encephalitis, and corneal scarring, which can lead to blindness. It costs less than US$1 to vaccinate a child against measles but, tragically, it remains the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death among children.
Why Was This Study Done?
There are many national and international initiatives intended to improve measles vaccination rates, and in many developing countries things are improving; measles death rates in Africa as a whole are believed to be less than half of what they were 10 y ago. However, in certain countries—for example in West Africa—serious measles epidemics do still occur. It has been some years since any major studies have been conducted to try to establish how many children die during these epidemics. It is important to know this in order to help with efforts to improve the situation.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
They focused on three epidemics of measles in West Africa and their impact on one neighborhood in each of three countries that were severely affected: Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. The total population of these neighborhoods was more than 64,000. The researchers spoke to the heads of households and asked for information about measles cases. They recorded details of symptoms of children who were taken ill during the epidemic and the outcome, including deaths. They also noted what action families took when children had measles. The percentage of children who developed measles was around 17% in the neighborhoods in Chad and Niger, and 24% in the Nigerian neighborhood. The death rate among the children who had measles was around 4% in Chad and Niger, and 11% in Nigeria. Most parents took their children to a health-care facility within 30 d of a rash appearing but this varied: 86% did so in Chad, 74% in Niger, and 53% in Nigeria.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Children in these countries still face an unacceptably high risk of death from a completely preventable disease. Much more needs to be done to increase the number of children who are vaccinated.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Wikipedia information on measles (note that Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
More detailed information on measles may be obtained from MedlinePlus and the World Health Organization
Information about the Measles Initiative
For information about the three countries in this study, consult their country profiles on the BBC website: Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
PMCID: PMC1761051  PMID: 17199407
14.  A Population-Based Evaluation of a Publicly Funded, School-Based HPV Vaccine Program in British Columbia, Canada: Parental Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Receipt 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000270.
Analysis of a telephone survey by Gina Ogilvie and colleagues identifies the parental factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a school-based program in Canada.
Information on factors that influence parental decisions for actual human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine receipt in publicly funded, school-based HPV vaccine programs for girls is limited. We report on the level of uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine, and determine parental factors associated with receipt of the HPV vaccine, in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program in British Columbia, Canada.
Methods and Findings
All parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the academic year of September 2008–June 2009 in the province of British Columbia were eligible to participate. Eligible households identified through the provincial public health information system were randomly selected and those who consented completed a validated survey exploring factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to calculate adjusted odds ratios to identify the factors that were associated with parents' decision to vaccinate their daughter(s) against HPV. 2,025 parents agreed to complete the survey, and 65.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 63.1–67.1) of parents in the survey reported that their daughters received the first dose of the HPV vaccine. In the same school-based vaccine program, 88.4% (95% CI 87.1–89.7) consented to the hepatitis B vaccine, and 86.5% (95% CI 85.1–87.9) consented to the meningococcal C vaccine. The main reasons for having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were the effectiveness of the vaccine (47.9%), advice from a physician (8.7%), and concerns about daughter's health (8.4%). The main reasons for not having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were concerns about HPV vaccine safety (29.2%), preference to wait until the daughter is older (15.6%), and not enough information to make an informed decision (12.6%). In multivariate analysis, overall attitudes to vaccines, the impact of the HPV vaccine on sexual practices, and childhood vaccine history were predictive of parents having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program. By contrast, having a family with two parents, having three or more children, and having more education was associated with a decreased likelihood of having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine.
This study is, to our knowledge, one of the first population-based assessments of factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a publicly funded school-based program worldwide. Policy makers need to consider that even with the removal of financial and health care barriers, parents, who are key decision makers in the uptake of this vaccine, are still hesitant to have their daughters receive the HPV vaccine, and strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake need to be employed.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
About 10% of cancers in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, globally, more than a quarter of a million women die because of cervical cancer, which only occurs after the cervix has been infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. There are many types of HPV, a virus that infects the skin and the mucosa (the moist membranes that line various parts of the body, including the cervix). Although most people become infected with HPV at some time in their life, most never know they are infected. However, some HPV types cause harmless warts on the skin or around the genital area and several—in particular, HPV 16 and HPV 18, so-called high-risk HPVs—can cause cervical cancer. HPV infections are usually cleared by the immune system, but about 10% of women infected with a high-risk HPV develop a long-term infection that puts them at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening programs have greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries in recent decades by detecting the cancer early when it can be treated; but it would be better to prevent cervical cancer ever developing. Because HPV is necessary for the development of cervical cancer, vaccination of girls against HPV infection before the onset of sexual activity might be one way to do this. Scientists recently developed a vaccine that prevents infection with HPV 16 and HPV 18 (and with two HPVs that cause genital warts) and that should, therefore, reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Publicly funded HPV vaccination programs are now planned or underway in several countries; but before girls can receive the HPV vaccine, parental consent is usually needed, so it is important to know what influences parental decisions about HPV vaccination. In this study, the researchers undertake a telephone survey to determine the uptake of the HPV vaccine by 11-year-old girls (grade 6) in British Columbia, Canada, and to determine the parental factors associated with vaccine uptake; British Columbia started a voluntary school-based HPV vaccine program in September 2008.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In early 2009, the researchers contacted randomly selected parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the 2008–2009 academic year and asked them to complete a telephone survey that explored factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. 65.1% of the 2,025 parents who completed the survey had consented to their daughter receiving the first dose of HPV vaccine. By contrast, more than 85% of the parents had consented to hepatitis B and meningitis C vaccination of their daughters. Nearly half of the parents surveyed said their main reason for consenting to HPV vaccination was the effectiveness of the vaccine. Conversely, nearly a third of the parents said concern about the vaccine's safety was their main reason for not consenting to vaccination and one in eight said they had been given insufficient information to make an informed decision. In a statistical analysis of the survey data, the researchers found that a positive parental attitude towards vaccination, a parental belief that HPV vaccination had limited impact on sexual practices, and completed childhood vaccination increased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the HPV vaccine. Having a family with two parents or three or more children and having well-educated parents decreased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the vaccine.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide one of the first population-based assessments of the factors that affect HPV vaccine uptake in a setting where there are no financial or health care barriers to vaccination. By identifying the factors associated with parental reluctance to agree to HPV vaccination for their daughters, these findings should help public-health officials design strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake, although further studies are needed to discover why, for example, parents with more education are less likely to agree to vaccination than parents with less education. Importantly, the findings of this study, which are likely to be generalizable to other high-income countries, indicate that there is a continued need to ensure that the public receives credible, clear information about both the benefits and long-term safety of HPV vaccination.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on HPV vaccines (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and about HPV
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer and on HPV vaccination
More information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination is available from the Macmillan cancer charity
ImmunizeBC provides general information about vaccination and information about HPV vaccination in British Columbia
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC2864299  PMID: 20454567
15.  Factors associated with uptake of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) and use of single antigen vaccines in a contemporary UK cohort: prospective cohort study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;336(7647):754-757.
Objectives To estimate uptake of the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) and single antigen vaccines and explore factors associated with uptake and reasons for not using MMR.
Design Nationally representative cohort study.
Setting Children born in the UK, 2000-2.
Participants 14 578 children for whom data on immunisation were available.
Main outcome measures Immunisation status at 3 years defined as “immunised with MMR,” “immunised with at least one single antigen vaccine,” and “unimmunised.”
Results 88.6% (13 013) were immunised with MMR and 5.2% (634) had received at least one single antigen vaccine. Children were more likely to be unimmunised if they lived in a household with other children (risk ratio 1.74, 95% confidence interval 1.35 to 2.25, for those living with three or more) or a lone parent (1.31, 1.07 to 1.60) or if their mother was under 20 (1.41, 1.08 to 1.85) or over 34 at cohort child’s birth (reaching 2.34, 1.20 to 3.23, for ≥40), more highly educated (1.41, 1.05 to 1.89, for a degree), not employed (1.43, 1.12 to 1.82), or self employed (1.71, 1.18 to 2.47). Use of single vaccines increased with household income (reaching 2.98, 2.05 to 4.32, for incomes of ≥£52 000 (€69 750, $102 190)), maternal age (reaching 3.04, 2.05 to 4.50, for ≥40), and education (reaching 3.15, 1.78 to 5.58, for a degree). Children were less likely to have received single vaccines if they lived with other children (reaching 0.14, 0.07 to 0.29, for three or more), had mothers who were Indian (0.50, 0.25 to 0.99), Pakistani or Bangladeshi (0.13, 0.04 to 0.39), or black (0.31, 0.14 to 0.64), or aged under 25 (reaching 0.14, 0.05 to 0.36, for 14-19). Nearly three quarters (74.4%, 1110) of parents who did not immunise with MMR made a “conscious decision” not to immunise.
Conclusions Although MMR uptake in this cohort is high, a substantial proportion of children remain susceptible to avoidable infection, largely because parents consciously decide not to immunise. Social differentials in uptake could be used to inform targeted interventions to promote uptake.
PMCID: PMC2287222  PMID: 18309964
16.  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
17.  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
18.  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
19.  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
20.  The epidemiological characteristics of measles and difficulties of measles elimination in Hang Zhou, China 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2013;9(6):1296-1302.
Objective: Following the national proclaim of Measles Elimination 2012, plenty of activities for controlling the incidence had practiced in Hangzhou. However, the incidence did not decrease to low degree and remained perform as gap to the elimination target. The present study aimed to describe the epidemiological characteristics of measles, and proposed reasonable method to the target in Hangzhou. 
Method: Cases were collected by the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) from 2004 to 2011. The descriptive epidemiology was employed to analyze characteristics of measles. 
Results: A total of 4712 confirmed cases were enrolled by the NNDSS with 7.87 per 100,000 people of incidence rate on average from 2004 to 2011. Individuals lived urban districts had higher risk of measles than counties. Infants aged <1 year observed the highest incidence rate with 239.35/100,000, and the age-specific incidence rate declined along with aged-group but reversed at adults. 52.20% of cases were floating cases and the measles vaccination was significantly different from the local cases (χ2=51.65,p <0.001). February to June was the epidemic period for measles incidence with 81.88% of cases reported in cluster. 
Conclusion: The descriptive characteristics of measles suggested that factors included infant and adult individual, floating population, and living urban area might be relate to the elimination target. More efforts were need to ensure susceptible population had accepted qualified measles vaccination. 
PMCID: PMC3901820  PMID: 23732896
measles; measles elimination; immunization strategy; descriptive epidemiology
21.  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
22.  Low titers of measles antibody in mothers whose infants suffered from measles before eligible age for measles vaccination 
Virology Journal  2010;7:87.
Resurgence or outbreak of measles recently occurred in both developed and developing countries despite long-standing widespread use of measles vaccine. Measles incidence in China has increased since 2002, particularly in infants and in persons ≥ 15 years of age. It is speculated that infants may acquire fewer measles IgG from their mothers, resulting in the reduced duration of protection during their early months of life. This study aimed to clarify the reason of increased susceptibility to measles in young infants in China. Measles IgG in 24 measles infants ≤ 9 months of age and their vaccinated mothers was quantitatively measured. The mean measles neutralizing titer in the vaccinated mothers and in 13 age-match women with the histories of clinical measles were compared.
All the mothers were confirmed to be vaccinated successfully by the presence of measles IgG. Six vaccinated mothers were positive for measles IgM and had high concentrations of measles IgG and the neutralizing antibody, indicating underwent natural boosting. The mean measles neutralizing titer in 18 vaccinated mothers without natural boosting were significantly lower than that in 13 age-match women with the histories of clinical measles (1:37 vs 1:182, P < 0.05).
Our results suggest that infants born to mothers who acquired immunity to measles by vaccination may get a relatively small amount of measles antibody, resulting in loss of the immunity to measles before the vaccination age. Measures to improve the immunity in young infants not eligible for measles vaccination would be critical to interrupt the measles transmission in China.
PMCID: PMC2874774  PMID: 20444295
23.  Factors affecting uptake of measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1993;307(6897):168-171.
OBJECTIVE--To study factors affecting uptake of measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. DESIGN--Cohort study using data from computerised child health systems. SETTING--10 health districts in North East Thames and North West Thames regions. SUBJECTS--7841 children born in January to March 1990 and resident in the districts up till the end of October 1991. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Overall uptake of measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation, variation of uptake among groups of children, and odds ratio of being vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella. RESULTS--The overall uptake rate of measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation for the study cohort in the 10 districts was 82%. Wide variation was identified among children with different demographic characteristics. Lower uptake was associated with absent or incomplete primary immunisation, including omission of pertussis vaccine. Other factors affecting uptake included the type of resident district, birth order, where registered for immunisation (general practitioner or clinic), and one parent family status. CONCLUSIONS--Many districts have difficulties in meeting the 90% target for measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation, mainly because of the characteristics of their local population. To increase overall coverage, the health service should target families with adverse factors, especially those whose children have missed previous immunisations.
PMCID: PMC1678351  PMID: 8343745
24.  A locally initiated and executed measles outbreak response immunization campaign in the nylon health district, Douala Cameroon 2011 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:100.
The Cameroon health system is divided into central, intermediate and peripheral levels. Of the 43 health districts with a measles outbreak in Cameroon in 2011, only the Nylon Health District organized a documented outbreak response immunization. We present the methods and results of the response campaign solely shouldered by the district and intermediate level. The risk group, targets and neighborhoods to be vaccinated were identified after a detailed analysis of initial cases. The intermediate level defined strategies, provided logistics, capacity building and 41% of the operational budget while 59% was completed by the peripheral level. Microsoft Office Excel 2007 was used to estimate coverage rates and to draw an epidemic curve. The response immunization campaign was organized on the 14th epidemiological week, 10 weeks after the onset of the outbreak which ended 11 weeks thereafter. A total of 15867(108.5%) children aged 9-59 months were vaccinated in five health areas at a direct cost (vaccines excluded) of 71.34FCFA ($0.143) per vaccinated child. An additional 824 children aged 9-59 months were vaccinated around the residence of notified cases in neighborhoods which were not involved in the response campaign. The number of cases after the response campaign was lower than before. Once vaccines are available, prompt outbreak response campaigns can be organized at operational level to obtain commendable results instead of depending solely on international organizations or central levels. Decision makers at the intermediate and operational levels should redeploy available funds during emergencies to prevent the development of extreme public health conditions.
PMCID: PMC3607843  PMID: 23497712
Measles; Outbreak; Response immunization campaign; Nylon health district
25.  Timely measles vaccination in Tianjin, China: a cross-sectional study of immunization records and mothers 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):888.
Measles is a highly infectious disease, and timely administration of two doses of vaccine can ensure adequate protection against measles for all ages in a population. This study aims to estimate the proportion of children aged 8 months to 6 years vaccinated on time with measles-containing vaccines (MCV) and vaccinated during the 2008 and 2010 measles supplementary immunization activities. This study also characterizes differences in mean age at vaccination and vaccination timeliness by demographic characteristics, and describes maternal knowledge of measles vaccination.
Immunization records were selected from a convenience sample of immunization clinics in Tianjin, China. From the records, overall vaccination coverage and timely vaccination coverage were calculated for different demographic groups. Mothers were also interviewed at these clinics to ascertain their knowledge of measles vaccination.
Within the 329 immunization clinic records, child’s birth year and district of residence were found to be significant predictors of different measures of vaccine timeliness. Children born in 2009 had a lower age at MCV dose 2 administration (17.96 months) than children born in 2005 (22.00 months). Children living in Hebei, a district in the urban center of Tianjin were less likely to be vaccinated late than children living in districts further from the urban core of Tianjin. From the 31 interviews with mothers, most women believed that timely vaccination was very important and more than one dose was very necessary; most did not know whether their child needed another dose.
When reviewing MCV coverage in China, most studies do not consider timeliness. However, this study shows that overall vaccination coverage can greatly overestimate vaccination coverage within certain segments of the population, such as young infants.
PMCID: PMC4153894  PMID: 25168663
China; Measles; Measles vaccine; Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine; Vaccination knowledge; Vaccination timeliness; Supplementary immunization activities

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