Monday, 6 May 2019

MMR and travel

I did a blog on MMR and travel back in December 2017.  Measles risk continues not only now in Europe but in other parts of the world as well.  The latest measles data is published on the World Health Organization website here which also provides links to other information including the measles fact sheet.

Look at the latest information on measles from NaTHNaC on TravelHealthPro in relation to your travellers.

The Vaccination of individuals with uncertain or incomplete immunisation status flowchart published by Public Health England (most recent edition November 2017) has excellent guidance regarding your course of action if doses are missed, and one of the statements is ' Two doses of MMR should be given irrespective of history of measles, mumps or rubella infection and/or age'.

Dealing with people born before 1970 has historically caused a greater quandary, but while the Green Book acknowledges this cohort are more likely to have had all three natural infections and are less likely to be susceptible, it states MMR vaccine should be offered to those who request it or if they are considered to be at risk of high exposure (see page 219).

The December 2017 issue of Vaccine Update clarified that ImmForm stock can be used - the exact wording says Central MMR vaccine stock (ordered from Immform) can be used to catch-up anyone of any age – this also covers opportunistic catch-up prompted by travel.   Moreover, it says an item of service fee can be claimed manually via the CQRS MMR programme for each dose of MMR administered to patients aged 16 years or over. This includes patients born before 1970 who have no history of measles or MMR vaccination.  See page 5 of the Vaccine Update issue 273.

There was further excellent information on MMR in the July 2018 Vaccine Update (Issue no. 281) which asked if 'you were up to date with your MMR' on page 5. And the CQC wrote mythbuster no. 37 on Immunisation of healthcare staff which includes MMR.  The relevant information is as follows: Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is particularly important to avoid transmission to vulnerable groups. Evidence of satisfactory immunity to MMR is either:

  • a positive antibody test to measles and rubella or
  • having two doses of the MMR vaccine.
Public Health England have published new leaflets about MMR available in English, Polish, Romanian and Somali.   Order hard copy from here