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Web Site Boosts Parental Acceptance of MMR Vaccine

Those disinclined to vaccinate still very concerned about rare side effects

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- An online, evidence-based guide addressing concerns about the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine may encourage more parents to vaccinate their children, according to a study published Dec. 13 in the British Medical Journal.

Julie Leask, Ph.D., of the University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues evaluated responses from 158 people who completed a survey after reviewing an online guide with text and graphics representing the possible outcomes of measles, mumps and rubella diseases compared with the MMR vaccine.

The researchers found that before and after using the guide, the number of participants who were "leaning toward" vaccination increased from 39% to 55%. Participants who were "leaning toward" vaccination were more likely than those who were undecided or "leaning against" vaccination to value the vaccines potential to protect their children from the serious side effects of disease (98% versus 84%).

The researchers found that participants with an unfavorable attitude toward vaccination were more likely than those "leaning toward" the vaccine to be very concerned about the rare side effects of vaccination (78% versus 57%).

"Of interest to government and immunization advocates would be whether the aid improved the timeliness and completion of MMR vaccination among children of parents who are concerned about the safety of the vaccine," the researchers conclude.

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