HealthDay News — Less than half of pediatric travelers who are eligible for pretravel measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination are vaccinated during pretravel consultation, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Emily P. Hyle, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of pediatric travelers attending pretravel consultation at 29 sites associated with Global TravEpiNet (GTEN) to examine clinical practice regarding MMR vaccination.

The researchers found that 19.6% of the 14,602 pediatric international travelers attending pretravel consultations were eligible to receive pretravel MMR vaccination at the time of the consultation: 91.7, 59.6, and 3.2% of those aged 6 to 12 months, 1 to 6 years, and 6 to 18 years, respectively. Of the 2,864 MMR vaccination-eligible travelers, 41.3 and 58.7% did and did not receive the MMR vaccination, respectively. Overall, 44.1, 56.5, and 88.5% of infants, preschool-aged travelers, and school-aged MMR vaccination-eligible travelers did not receive the vaccine, respectively. Vaccination at the pretravel consultation was less likely for MMR vaccination-eligible pediatric travelers if they were school-aged or evaluated at specific GTEN sites. Clinical decisions not to administer the MMR vaccine and guardian refusal were the most common reasons for nonvaccination (36.9 and 36.4%, respectively).

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“Strategies may be needed to improve clinician and guardian knowledge of measles as a serious travel-related illness and the benefits of MMR vaccination, particularly in the setting of ongoing US measles outbreaks,” the authors write.

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