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Few MMR-Vaccine Eligible Children Receive Vaccine Before Travel

41.3 percent of MMR vaccination-eligible pediatric travelers received MMR vaccine at pretravel consultation

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Less than half of pediatric travelers who are eligible for pretravel measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination are vaccinated during pretravel consultation, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Emily P. Hyle, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of pediatric travelers attending pretravel consultation at 29 sites associated with Global TravEpiNet (GTEN) to examine clinical practice regarding MMR vaccination.

The researchers found that 19.6 percent of the 14,602 pediatric international travelers attending pretravel consultations were eligible to receive pretravel MMR vaccination at the time of the consultation: 91.7, 59.6, and 3.2 percent of those aged 6 to 12 months, 1 to 6 years, and 6 to 18 years, respectively. Of the 2,864 MMR vaccination-eligible travelers, 41.3 and 58.7 percent did and did not receive the MMR vaccination, respectively. Overall, 44.1, 56.5, and 88.5 percent of infants, preschool-aged travelers, and school-aged MMR vaccination-eligible travelers did not receive the vaccine, respectively. Vaccination at the pretravel consultation was less likely for MMR vaccination-eligible pediatric travelers if they were school-aged or evaluated at specific GTEN sites. Clinical decisions not to administer the MMR vaccine and guardian refusal were the most common reasons for nonvaccination (36.9 and 36.4 percent, respectively).

“Strategies may be needed to improve clinician and guardian knowledge of measles as a serious travel-related illness and the benefits of MMR vaccination, particularly in the setting of ongoing U.S. measles outbreaks,” the authors write.

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