July 10, 2008
New MMR Study to Encourage Vaccinations
EXPERTS are planning to investigate why parents in Yorkshire are shunning the MMR vaccine - following warnings that measles has now become endemic.
Leeds University's School of Healthcare is launching a study to see what information new parents have available when they decided whether or not to have their children vaccinated for mumps, measles and rubella.
The study, involving more than 500 new parents in the city, will also explore ways of addressing questions and concerns people may have over the MMR jab.
Previous research by the Leeds team showed that parents felt isolated when making their decision. The new project will use interactive software to help identify parents' concerns and to provide the information needed to answer their questions.
Dr Martin Schweiger, consultant in communicable disease control at the West Yorkshire Health Protection Unit, said: "Mumps, measles and rubella are all serious diseases and become more so the older you get.
"Health professionals need to have credible and appropriate information to give those
parents about to make a decision about immunising their children."
Simon Balmer, head of health protection for Leeds Primary Care Trust, said: "With the right information we believe that most parents will choose to vaccinate their children."
In April a 17-year-old from West Yorkshire became the first person in two years to die from measles and the Health Protection Agency has warned that the number of unvaccinated children across the UK is now large enough to sustain a continuous spread of the disease.
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