Specialist vaccination advice and pockets of resistance to MMR vaccination: lessons from an outbreak of measles

Commun Dis Public Health. 2003 Dec;6(4):330-3.


An outbreak of measles was associated with a private nursery school in north west London. Sixteen cases were identified of whom 13 were laboratory confirmed. The majority of cases were aged three years or younger. Older cases were siblings of younger cases. None of the cases had been vaccinated against measles. In the nursery school 33% of the children had not received MMR vaccination. Based on specialist advice from the Health Protection Agency the outbreak control team recommended that children with no history of MMR vaccination should have a first MMR dose as soon as possible and that children with one MMR dose should receive the second dose as soon as possible (minimum of one month between doses). Some parents had strong negative views about MMR and represented 'pockets of resistance' to vaccination advice. The specialist vaccination advice, which was different to national immunisation guidelines, also caused some confusion amongst other health professionals. With a decrease in MMR vaccination uptake and resulting increased potential for future measles outbreaks, clinicians should be aware of and understand specialist vaccination advice intended to deal with outbreaks.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Day Care Centers*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • England
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Infant
  • London / epidemiology
  • Measles / epidemiology
  • Measles / prevention & control*
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / immunology
  • Parents / psychology
  • Public Health Practice


  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine