Volume 17, Issue 26, 28 June 2012
Healthcare workers’ role in keeping MMR vaccination uptake high in Europe: a review of evidence
B Simone, P Carrillo-Santisteve, P L Lopalco
Abstract [Free full text]
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. Europe is far from the 95% coverage rates necessary for elimination of the disease, although a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available. We reviewed the literature on studies carried out in European countries from January 1991 to September 2011 on knowledge, attitudes and practices of health professionals towards measles vaccination and on how health professionals have an impact on parental vaccination choices. Both quantitative and qualitative studies were considered: a total of 28 eligible articles were retrieved. Healthcare workers are considered by parents as a primary and trustworthy source of information on childhood vaccination. Gaps in knowledge and poor communication from healthcare workers are detrimental to high immunisation rates. Correct and transparent information for parents plays a key role in parental decisions on whether to have their children vaccinated. Healthcare workers’ knowledge of and positive attitudes towards measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination are crucial to meeting the measles elimination goal. An effort should be made to overcome potential communication barriers and to strengthen vaccine education among healthcare professionals.