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A qualitative study examining stakeholder experiences of current Immunisation services in NHS Lothian, focusing on the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.

Kennedy, Catriona; Gray Brunton, Carol; McIntosh, Patricia; Craig, Alison; Rust, Sue; Harden, Jeni


Catriona Kennedy

Patricia McIntosh

Alison Craig

Sue Rust

Jeni Harden


Childhood vaccination is an important public health strategy to protect against infectious
diseases for population or ‘herd’ immunity. In western, industrialised countries, successful
vaccination campaigns have been responsible for the near elimination of some common
childhood diseases. Vaccine scares, however, such as the Measles, Mumps and Rubella link
with autism and bowel diseases in the United Kingdom (Wakefield et al, 1998) have been
instrumental in undermining public confidence in such vaccines and have resulted in lower
uptake rates of the vaccine and high incidences of disease. Novel vaccines (e.g. Tickner et al,
2006) have also been indicated in the literature to be a source of concern and anxiety for
parents. In September 2008, the national human papillomavirus vaccine was initiated in
Scotland in order to prevent cervical cancer in young women. The importance of
understanding the views of parents, young people, and health staff for the delivery of this
vaccine is integral to local health service agendas of improving the quality of health care
Previous literature has indicated the significance of parental concerns in vaccinations as
centred on avoiding causing the child harm, based on previous distrust of information and
access issues (Mill et al, 2005). Parental lay health beliefs and the child’s health on the day was
also considered important (Roberts et al, 2002) An initial background study by the research
team explored parental, health staff and managers views for childhood vaccinations in an
initial sample and indicated four key themes as relevant: lay health beliefs which tended to
conflict with health advice, past health experiences as influencing future decisions,
communication between health staff and parents and across staff members and organisational
or access issues which related to staff confidence as well as resource issues. The findings are to
be verified in a larger sample of parents and in light of the new vaccine.

Report Type Project Report
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Aug 8, 2012
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Childhood vaccination; human papillomavirus vaccine; immunisation; Measles, Mumps and Rubella; Novel vaccines;
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