Measles epidemic could be inevitable says

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New research shows parents of teenagers still reluctant to give their children the jab.

With potentially deadly measles cases on the rise, a group representing the parents of teenagers has discovered that parents of older children are still reluctant for their kids to receive the MMR jab.

Research commissioned by and carried out by Opinium revealed that of those who have a teenager(s), just over one in ten (12%) say they would refuse (or have already refused) on their teenager’s behalf if they were offered an MMR vaccine. However, 80% would not (or have not) refuse/d it. 7% do not know. A higher proportion (86%) of mothers say they would not refuse compared to 75% of fathers.

Public health officials put the number of measles cases in Swansea and Powys at more than 1,125. Schools across the UK have written to parents encouraging parents to get older children vaccinated and in some places have offered it onsite. Comments by followers of on whether to give older children the MMR jab include:

By Jenny: “Measles is nasty and takes three weeks of dedicated nursing in the dark to get through. If you’re not up for that, best get the measles jab.”
By Colin: “If they’ve not had the booster, then they need it.”
By Amy: “I guess it goes back to why parents opted to avoid the MMR in the first place… the autism link may have been discredited but can we trust that? Hard to know who to believe.”

Opinium carried out the research on a 2,005 nationally representative sample of UK adults aged 18+, of which 225 had a teenager aged 13-17, from 14th to 16th of May 2013. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

The website that commissioned the research offers parents of teenagers access to experts and the chance to support each other. It’s free and includes dating and a space to upload photos of the messiest teen bedrooms.
Call Vicki Silverman on 077 11 33 11 27. Or email us for more details, a regional break down of the research findings or to arrange interviews with parents on this issue.

An inoculation rate of 95% is required to prevent measles. According to the World Health Organisation: “The 9 deaths [in Western Europe] and thousands of measles-associated hospitalisations in 2011 are a reminder that measles is a serious disease that may cause death in all age groups, even in countries with high quality health care where malnutrition is not widespread.” is the first website from The Missing Manual Ltd for the times in life when you don’t need a guide book but the support of people living similar events.

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Victoria Silverman

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