Epidemiology and Infection


Opportunistic MMR vaccination for unimmunized children at the time of routine teenage booster vaccination in secondary schools: implications for policy


a1 NHS Swindon, North Swindon District Centre, Swindon, UK


With the aim of minimizing adverse health outcomes and reducing the risk of outbreaks, we offered one dose of MMR vaccine to children known to be incompletely immunized at the time of teenage booster vaccination in secondary schools in Swindon in 2011. The Child Health Department database was queried to identify Year 10 children who had had zero or one dose of MMR vaccine previously. Of the 316 children offered vaccination, 60 received a first dose and 87 received a second dose of MMR vaccine. Fourteen children had two documented doses in the past and two had contraindications to the vaccine. Overall uptake of two doses of MMR vaccine increased from 86·3% to 90·6%. The valuable uptake achieved demonstrates that an opportunistic offer of MMR vaccine for unimmunized children at schools is feasible and beneficial. MMR vaccine should be offered routinely to unimmunized children at the time of school vaccination programmes, especially in areas with sub-optimal coverage.

(Accepted October 23 2011)

(Online publication November 25 2011)


c1 Author for correspondence: Dr K Paranthaman, East Midlands South Health Protection Unit, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicestershire LE3 8TB, UK. (Email: karthik.paranthaman@hpa.org.uk)