Many Americans Skipping MMR Vaccination Before Traveling Abroad — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 16, 2017

Many Americans Skipping MMR Vaccination Before Traveling Abroad

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Of U.S. adults who go to travel clinics before traveling internationally, only about half of those eligible for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine actually receive it, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds.

Researchers studied 40,000 U.S. adults who presented to clinics for pretravel consultation. Of the 6600 who were eligible to receive the MMR vaccine based on self-reported disease and immunization history, 53% did not get vaccinated. Nearly half of the unvaccinated had refused the vaccine; most said they refused because they were not concerned about acquiring measles.

Roughly 28% of eligible patients didn't receive the vaccine because of the provider's decision; the vast majority of providers believed that the vaccine was not indicated.

Editorialists conclude: "If persons traveling abroad continue to underestimate the importance of pretravel MMR vaccination, our society is destined to be affected by imported cases of measles, leading to morbidity and mortality from this disease."

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