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Epidemiol Infect. 2015 Feb;143(3):550-60. doi: 10.1017/S0950268814000752.

The impact of the media on the decision of parents in South Wales to accept measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunization.

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Public Health Wales Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre,Temple of Peace and Health, Cathays Park, Cardiff,UK.


A large measles outbreak occurred in South Wales in 2012/2013. The outbreak has been attributed to low take-up of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunization in the early 2000s. To understand better the factors that led to this outbreak we present the findings of a case-control study carried out in the outbreak area in 2001 to investigate parents' decision on whether to accept MMR. Parents who decided not to take-up MMR at the time were more likely to be older and better educated, more likely to report being influenced by newspapers [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3·07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·62-5·80], television (aOR 3·30, 95% CI 1·70-6·43), the internet (aOR 7·23, 3·26-16·06) and vaccine pressure groups (aOR 5·20, 95% CI 2·22-12·16), and less likely to be influenced by a health visitor (aOR 0·30, 95% CI 0·16-0·57). In this area of Wales, daily English-language regional newspapers, UK news programmes and the internet appeared to have a powerful negative influence. We consider the relevance of these findings to the epidemiology of the outbreak and the subsequent public health response.


Attitude to health; immunization; mass media; measles-mumps-rubella vaccine; parents; patients' acceptance of healthcare

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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