Public Release: 

Health professionals are unsure about second MMR vaccination

BMJ

Second dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: questionnaire survey of health professionals

Many health professionals have reservations about the second dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Furthermore, wide variation in knowledge and practice regarding the vaccine may be influencing the advice that is given to parents, finds research in this week's BMJ.

Petrovic and colleagues surveyed 140 health visitors, 204 practice nurses and 165 general practitioners in the North Wales Health Authority area about their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding MMR vaccination. They found that 48% of the professionals had reservations about the second dose of the vaccine and 3% disagreed with the policy of giving it. Despite nationally available resources on immunisation, nearly a fifth of general practitioners reported that they had not read the MMR section in the "green book" and 29% reported that they had not received the Health Education Authority's factsheet on MMR immunisation.

In view of the falling uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, local educational initiatives need to address these issues and are underway, conclude the authors.

Contact:

Marko Petrovic, Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine, North West Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, UK Email: cdsc.northwest@btinternet.com

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