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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 July, 2005, 23:08 GMT 00:08 UK
Study reveals parents' MMR views
Needles and vaccine
The report looked at parental attitudes to the MMR jab
Experts have revealed the results of a study designed to assess parents' positions on the measles, mumps and rubella triple vaccination.

Parents opposed to the combined measles, mumps and rubella inoculation were less worried about the illnesses than those who support the MMR jab.

Experts also confirmed that parents opposed to the vaccination were more concerned about an autism link.

Researchers carried out a study of 400 parents in the Dundee area last year.

Figures have shown that the take-up rate in Scotland for the MMR vaccination was lower than the 95% target.

The Stirling University study was aimed at helping researchers to understand parental attitudes and the reasons why some chose the free vaccination while others refused it.

The probe discovered that parents' decisions on whether or not to immunise were influenced by family members and new research has begun into the reasons.

Non-immunising parents were more likely to accept the proposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism
Binder Kaur
Stirling University

Leader of the university team, Binder Kaur, said: "Non-immunising parents admitted that they would be worried if their child developed measles or mumps and accepted their child was at a greater risk of developing the diseases than other children.

"But they did not perceive these diseases as serious as immunising parents believe them to be.

"Non-immunising parents were more likely to accept the proposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

"Surprisingly, they also thought that the vaccine and its effects were more dangerous for the child than contracting measles."

Mr Kaur said immunising parents had "more positive attitudes about the MMR vaccine".

He said: "Clearly, it is important that parents have access to as much information as possible regarding the seriousness and the consequences of their children developing the diseases measles, mumps and rubella."

Official figures in March suggested that by the end of 2004, more than 88% of infants had been given the triple injection - a 1.5% rise on 2003.

Child being immunised
A study found that MMR was not linked to autism

But vaccination among two-year-olds born in the last three months of 2002 was 88% - 0.2% lower than the previous quarter.

A major study concluded last September that the vaccine was not linked to autism, rejecting previous research which claimed there was a connection.

Ninety-five per cent of children need to be immunised to ensure "herd immunity" and prevent outbreaks of measles, mumps or rubella, according to health officials.

Figures from NHS Scotland's Information Statistics Division (ISD) have shown that all other childhood immunisations, such as diphtheria and polio, have a take-up rate in excess of the Scottish Executive's 95% target.

Triple jab numbers below target
14 Mar 05 |  Scotland
No change in MMR vaccine figures
13 Sep 04 |  Scotland
MMR vaccination rate creeps up
15 Mar 04 |  Scotland
MMR uptake increases slightly
08 Dec 03 |  Scotland
MMR uptake falls to record low
26 Sep 03 |  Health
Parents urged to opt for MMR
31 Oct 03 |  Scotland


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