MMR Vaccine Attitude and Uptake Research in the United Kingdom: A Critical Review
Torracinta L., Tanner R., Vanderslott S.
This review critically assesses the body of research about Measles-Mumps-and-Rubella (MMR) vaccine attitudes and uptake in the United Kingdom (UK) over the past 10 years. We searched PubMed and Scopus, with terms aimed at capturing relevant literature on attitudes about, and uptake of, the MMR vaccine. Two researchers screened for abstract eligibility and after de-duplication 934 studies were selected. After screening, 40 references were included for full-text review and thematic synthesis by three researchers. We were interested in the methodologies employed and grouped findings by whether studies concerned: (1) Uptake and Demographics; (2) Beliefs and Attitudes; (3) Healthcare Worker Focus; (4) Experimental and Psychometric Intervention; and (5) Mixed Methods. We identified group and individual level determinants for attitudes, operating directly and indirectly, which influence vaccine uptake. We found that access issues, often ignored within the public “anti-vax” debate, remain highly pertinent. Finally, a consistent theme was the effect of misinformation or lack of knowledge and trust in healthcare, often stemming from the Wakefield controversy. Future immunisation campaigns for children, including for COVID-19, should consider both access and attitudinal aspects of vaccination, and incorporate a range of methodologies to assess progress, taking into account socio-economic variables and the needs of disadvantaged groups.