1865. Measles, Media and attitudes about MMR:  Impact of the 2014-2015 outbreak
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Vaccines: Improving Immunization Uptake
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Room: Poster Hall

Background: Parents use a variety of media for vaccine information. In the past, media coverage of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine has focused on the alleged link with autism.  In December 2014, a multi-state measles outbreak began in California and received significant media coverage. Our objectives were to describe 1) use and trust of media sources for information about the 2014-15 measles outbreak, 2) knowledge and attitudes related to the outbreak, and 3) change in vaccine attitudes related to the outbreak.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional email survey of women with a child age £ 1 year old recruited from 9 Colorado obstetrics practices April-May 2015.

Results: Response rate was 46% (n=318). Participants were excluded if they did not have an age eligible child (n=7) or had not heard of the outbreak (n=28).   Table 1 shows use of media sources and their perceived trustworthiness.

Table 1: Media Sources and Trustworthiness

Information Source

Used source for information on this outbreak

Trust a lot

Trust somewhat

Don't trust at all

Never see or use

Television News (TV)

75%

22%

65%

10%

3%

Online news sites

76%

17%

70%

9%

3%

Social media

67%

1%

37%

56%

6%

Government website

33%

63%

26%

3%

8%

Print information from doctor's office

34%

61%

30%

2%

7%

Median knowledge score was 81% (13/16) correct responses to true/false items (range 50-100%). Respondents had mostly pro-vaccination attitudes related to the outbreak with median score 3.5 (range 1.5, 4) on 4 point Likert scale where 4 indicates strong agreement with pro-vaccine messages. 92% planned to follow the recommended MMR schedule before the outbreak and 8% had non-recommended plans (see Figure 1).  33% (n=92) of the participants reported they were more interested in MMR and 48% (n=137) thought MMR was more important after the outbreak, including 13% (3/23) of respondents with non-recommended vaccination plans at baseline.

Conclusion:   Among new mothers, the most trusted sources for information on the measles outbreak were not the ones used most frequently. Despite high knowledge levels and vaccine acceptance, many mothers report increased interest in and perceived importance of MMR vaccine after the outbreak, suggesting that positive media attention to vaccination issues can have important impacts on public opinions about vaccines.  

Jessica Cataldi, MD1, Amanda Dempsey, MD, PhD, MPH2 and Sean O'leary, MD, MPH1, (1)Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO, (2)The Children's Outcomes Research Program, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO

Disclosures:

J. Cataldi, None

A. Dempsey, Merck: Scientific Advisor , Consulting fee
PFizer: Scientific Advisor , Consulting fee

S. O'leary, None

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