in vaccinations prompts MMR study
to parents and professionals (l-r)
Robert Mc Murray, Francine Cheater and research assistant
is seeing cases of mumps rise alarmingly, as take up of
the MMR vaccine continues to fall. Across the city there
were just under 400 cases last year, more than double
the number in 2000, and ten times the figure for 1999.
Take up of the first MMR vaccine has dropped to around
80% in Leeds, with as few as 70% having the second injection
which ensures immunisation at age five.
of the mumps cases are amongst young adults, who received
no vaccination as children. They face a high risk of sterility
in later life.
information is available to parents on the MMR vaccine
and the risks of leaving children with no immunisation
against the diseases, many parents are clearly still choosing
not to vaccinate their children. A team of researchers
from the school of healthcare studies and the NHS is looking
into whether or not parents receive all the information
they need, how they view this information, and what more
could be done to ensure parents are fully informed and
supported in making the decision whether or not to vaccinate
by Dr Robert McMurray and professor of public health nursing
Francine Cheater, the 14-month study will involve interviews
with 80 parents and 20 health professionals to explore
the relevance, quality, usefulness and continuity of the
research, funded by the Northern and Yorkshire Regional
Health Authority, will provide recommendations on multi-agency
immunisation education and parental decision making support,
and these will be publicised regionally and nationally.
Cheater said: "Professionals and policy makers alike are
unsure about the type and nature of support required by
parents to reach informed decisions about vaccination
and its long-term health implications for their child.
We hope to provide that information, through talking to
the parents themselves."
McMurray said: "This study is really important, as we
need to understand how the good souces of information
that exist in relation to MMR can be communicated by health
care agencies to the parents of young children."
more details on the situation in Leeds, see the Infectious
Diseases newsletter on the Leeds Health Authority website.