Volume 30, Issue 34 pp. 5059-5178 (20 July 2012)
Perceptions of mumps and MMR vaccination among university students in England: An online survey
Original Research Article
Diane Bolton-Maggs, David Conrad, Alex Keenan, Ken Lamden, Sam Ghebrehewet, Roberto Vivancos
Mumps is easily preventable through vaccination. Investigation of a number of recent mumps outbreaks in universities in the North West of England, however, found that affected students were either not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated. An online survey of students (n = 2456) attending five universities in the region was undertaken during 2010 to establish MMR vaccination status, knowledge of mumps and willingness to take up vaccination if offered. Regression analysis was undertaken to identify characteristics of unimmunized students to ascertain likely target groups for future vaccination campaigns. Students least likely to be fully vaccinated with MMR included males; those not registered with a GP; first year students; mature students; and those with poor knowledge of mumps. A high proportion of students were willing to accept MMR vaccination if offered at university. Those least likely to take up vaccination included students not registered with a GP; mature students; and those who did not consider mumps to be a serious disease. The survey also highlighted that misconceptions remain about both the MMR vaccine safety and perceptions of risk/benefit of the vaccine. Encouraging registration with a GP and awareness raising should be a key part of campaigns to improve vaccination uptake among university students.