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The contribution of single antigen measles, mumps and rubella vaccines to immunity to these infections in England & Wales
  1. Pam Sonnenberg (pam.sonnenberg{at}
  1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom
    1. Natasha Sarah Crowcroft (natasha.crowcroft{at}
    1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom
      1. Joanne White (joanne.white{at}
      1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom
        1. Mary E Ramsay (mary.ramsay{at}
        1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom


          Objective: To obtain information on the use of single antigen measles, mumps and rubella vaccines to improve estimates of population immunity and help predict outbreaks.

          Design: We requested information from providers of single antigen vaccines, identified through email discussion groups and websites, and from the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on requests for importation of single antigen measles and mumps vaccines.

          Setting: England and Wales.

          Main outcome measures: Number of doses of single measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, by age of child (in months), year given and area of residence; number of children who have received all three single vaccinations.

          Results: Of 27 providers identified, 13 held single site clinics; nine were individual GPs and five held clinics at multiple sites. Data were received from 9/27 (33%) providers operating 40/74 (54%) clinic sites, widely distributed throughout the country. None could provide the information in the format requested. We received information on 60,768 vaccinations administered by single vaccine providers and 269,917 doses requested for importation. For children born in 2001/2002, the minimum estimates for the proportion who received single measles vaccine are 1.7% in 2001 and 2.1% in 2002, with a reasonable maximum estimate of 5.6% over the two years. For single mumps vaccine, the minimum estimates are 0.3% in 2001 and 0.02% in 2002, with a maximum estimate of 4.0%.

          Conclusion: The contribution of single vaccines to immunity is small in comparison to that of combined measles mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR). For recent birth cohorts this could increase routine coverage for measles-containing vaccines by around 2%, still below the level of immunity required to sustain elimination.

          • measles
          • mumps
          • population immunity
          • rubella
          • single vaccines

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