Volume 32, Issue 10, Pages 1131-1226 (26 February 2014)
Increased measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine uptake in the context of a targeted immunisation campaign during a measles outbreak in a vaccine-reluctant community in England
Original Research Article
Arnaud Le Menach, Naomi Boxall, Gayatri Amirthalingam, Liz Maddock, Sooria Balasegaram, Miranda Mindlin
Following a measles outbreak in a vaccine-rejecting community between April and September 2011 in South-East England, local health agencies implemented a two-pronged measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) immunisation campaign from August to October offered at the local general practice where most cases were registered. The campaign included (a) accelerated vaccination of children earlier than scheduled (1st dose at 6–11 months, or 2nd dose at 18–39 months), (b) catch-up of those aged over 18 months who had had no MMR immunisations or were late for second MMR. We investigated the impact of the outbreak and campaign on the number of MMR doses given.
Materials and methods
In January 2012, we collected information on MMR vaccination for children registered at the practice aged 6 months–16 years on 1 August 2011, through the child health information system. We counted the number of MMR doses administered in 2011 and compared it to 2008–2010 data. We estimated the proportion vaccinated among the children eligible for the accelerated and catch-up campaign.
The local practice administered 257 MMR doses in 2011, a 114% increase on the average for 2008–2010. Among children eligible for earlier MMR vaccination 5/26 (19%) received a first dose, and 34/57 (60%) a second dose. Among children eligible for catch-up, 20/329 (6%) received their first MMR and 39/121 (32%) their second. Of 1538 children, the proportion completely unimmunised for MMR declined by 3 percentage-points after the outbreak.
Uptake of MMR vaccination significantly increased during the outbreak following the immunisation campaign. Those amenable to MMR vaccination seem to have benefited from the campaign more than those with no previous vaccinations. Future evaluations should address what made a few parents change their mind and have their children vaccinated for the first time during the outbreak