Immunisation Horizon Scanning Bulletin Volume 2 Issue 4

May 17, 2010

Eligibility and willingness of first-year students entering university to participate in a HPV vaccination catch-up program

May 17, 2010

Source: Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol, 2010 Feb; 148(2): 186-90.

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Date of publication: February 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: OBJECTIVES: In France, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is routinely recommended for 14-year-old girls; a catch-up vaccination should be offered to girls and women 15-23 years of age before the first time they have sex or within the first year after sexual activity begins. The aim of the present study was to examine the eligibility and willingness of first-year college students of Toulouse University (France) to participate in a HPV vaccination catch-up program, and to estimate their knowledge of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. STUDY DESIGN: The study was conducted from January to April 2008 simultaneously at the three university medical centres (Science, Literature-Psychology, Law-Social Sciences). Female students entering the University were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire at the time of their preventive medical visit. The questionnaire included questions on demographics, knowledge about HPV vaccination, sexual behaviour, and willingness to participate in the French vaccination program. RESULTS: In total, 606 women from the 3 colleges were included. The response rate of the questionnaire was 93.1%. The median age of participants was 19 and 8.3% of them had already been vaccinated. Of the respondents, 67.2% were sexually experienced and 25.3% of sexually experienced students had their first intercourse less than 1 year prior. Knowledge of HPV infections, associated diseases, and prevention was limited, a finding that indicates the need to pursue educational campaigns. Among respondents, 42.7% were eligible for catch-up vaccination, and 64.1% of them were willing to be vaccinated. We did not observe significant differences among the three colleges. CONCLUSIONS: First-year college preventive consultation is an opportunity to vaccinate near 43% of women according to French recommendations. Improved education about HPV-related diseases and their prevention is needed.

Length of publication: 5 page article


Raising awareness of the risk of sexually transmitted infection among overseas travellers

May 5, 2010

Source: Nursing Times, 2010 March 2-8; 106(8): 20-2.

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Date of publication: March 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: A range of factors can increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections in overseas travellers. Since many people receive travel advice and vaccinations before they travel, nurses have an opportunity to offer education and advice to increase travellers’
awareness of how they can minimise their risk. Interventions should be tailored to the individual and simple, direct questions should be used to assess risk.

Length of publication: 3 page article


Vaccinating premature infants in a special care baby unit in the UK: Results of a prospective, non-inferiority based, pragmatic case series study

May 5, 2010

Source: Human Vaccines, 2010 June 9; 6 (6)

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Date of publication: June 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Premature infants are at greater risk of infections in part because of impaired functioning of external barriers, innate and adaptive systems. For similar immunological reasons, diminished responses to particular vaccines have also been reported. This study, utilising a prospective, pragmatic case series approach was designed to show non-inferiority of antibody response in premature infants to diphtheria, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate (Hib), meningococcal C conjugate (MenC) and pneumococcal conjugate (PnC) vaccines between immunization in a routine clinical situation rather than a vaccine trial. A secondary objective was to determine the effect of gestational age on antibody response to these vaccines. The case series comprised 131 infants born at </=32 weeks gestation and managed on the Special Care Baby Unit (SC BU) of a District General Hospital in Stockport, UK. For diphtheria and tetanus, 98.3% and 100% of premature infants respectively developed a minimum protective antibody response; 86.6% were protected against Men C. However, only 67.8% preterm infants achieved anti-polyribosylribitolphosphate (PRP) antibodies >0.15 mug against Hib, with only 34.7% having a level >/=1.0 mug, and responses to the different pneumococcal serogroups ranged from 67.5% against serotype 6B to 92.5% against serogroup 19F. In comparison to term infants, preterm infants were less likely to achieve protective levels against MenC and Hib: there were no significant differences in the proportions of infants protected against diphtheria and tetanus. Protection was inferior to expected based on published premature infant clinical trial data for Hib and particular pneumococcal serotypes; data for Men C were also lower than expected.

Length of publication: Unknown


Factors underlying parental decisions about combination childhood vaccinations including MMR: A systematic review

May 5, 2010

Source: Vaccine, 2010 April 30 [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication: April 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Suboptimal childhood vaccination uptake results in disease outbreaks, and in developed countries is largely attributable to parental choice. To inform evidence-based interventions, we conducted a systematic review of factors underlying parental vaccination decisions. Thirty-one studies were reviewed. Outcomes and methods are disparate, which limits synthesis; however parents are consistently shown to act in line with their attitudes to combination childhood vaccinations. Vaccine-declining parents believe that vaccines are unsafe and ineffective and that the diseases they are given to prevent are mild and uncommon; they mistrust their health professionals, Government and officially-endorsed vaccine research but trust media and non-official information sources and resent perceived pressure to risk their own child’s safety for public health benefit. Interventions should focus on detailed decision mechanisms including disease-related anticipated regret and perception of anecdotal information as statistically representative. Self-reported vaccine uptake, retrospective attitude assessment and unrepresentative samples limit the reliability of reviewed data – methodological improvements are required in this area.

Length of publication: Unknown


Swine flu will be back in the winter

May 5, 2010

Source: Telegraph

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Date of publication: April 2010

Publication Type: News-Item

In a nutshell: The pandemic is not over and the H1N1 virus is likely to return in the winter when flu would normally be expected, scientists have said. Despite the feeling that most people have already had the bug, even if they didn’t show symptoms, tests have shown that in some areas of the country 85 per cent have not yet contracted H1N1. Uptake of the vaccine has varied from around 10 per cent to 30 per cent of those offered it so many of the most vulnerable are not protected, they said.

Length of publication: 1 page news-item


Survey of girls’ recall of a film providing information on human papillomavirus and cervical cancer 6 months after an offer of vaccination

May 5, 2010

Source: Vaccine, 2010 May 5 [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication: May 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Pre-adolescent girls who have been successfully immunised against human papillomavirus (HPV) may have relatively little knowledge about cervical cancer. A questionnaire was sent to 1084 girls approximately 6 months after they had been offered vaccination to assess whether an educational film had influenced their vaccine decision and what information they recalled. Girls who viewed the film were more likely to have wanted the vaccine than non-viewers (p = 0.015), but only 42% of them could recall details of the film 6 months later. Fear of cervical cancer may motivate young adolescents for vaccination but false assumptions might undermine later preventive actions by both the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.

Length of publication: Unknown