J Epidemiol Community Health 55:685-686 doi:10.1136/jech.55.9.685
  • Public health policy and practice

Attitudes of parents towards measles and immunisation after a measles outbreak in an anthroposophical community

  1. E Duffell
  1. Gloucestershire Health Authority, Victoria Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester GL1 2EL, UK
  1. Dr Duffell (erikaduffell{at}

    The introduction of mass immunisation against measles in the United Kingdom has seen the virtual disappearance of this disease. In some European countries with lower levels of vaccine coverage, however, deaths from measles are still common and the disease is associated with significant morbidity.1 In recent years adverse publicity surrounding the vaccine has depressed vaccine uptake in the United Kingdom. Parental attitude towards disease is known to be a powerful predictor of vaccine uptake.2 Indeed, reports from the Health Education Authority tracking studies of parental attitudes to vaccination suggest that confidence in the safety of MMR vaccine has fallen in parallel with vaccine uptake,3 and many parents now consider the vaccine to be a greater threat to their child's health than measles itself.

    Methods and Results

    An outbreak of measles among children from a predominantly un-immunised anthroposophical community in Gloucestershire provided an opportunity to explore …