Low levels of Rubella immunisation among young children may increase the risk of congenital Rubella in babies

December 02, 1999

Increase in congenital rubella occurrence after immunisation in Greece: retrospective survey and systematic review

Click below to download PDF document
You will require Acrobat Reader to view file.
Click here for PDF document

In 1993 a major rubella epidemic took place in Greece, which was followed by the birth of a large number of babies with congenital rubella. In this week's BMJ a team of researchers from Athens suggest that this situation arose because vaccination rates among young children were too low.

Dr Takis Panagiotopoulos and colleagues from the Institute of Child Health explain that vaccination of young children for rubella interrupts viral transmission and elevates the age at infection of the non-immunised, because they now have few opportunities to acquire natural immunity. If vaccination coverage is low, this can lead to an increase in the proportion of young adults (including women of child-bearing age) who are susceptible to rubella and thus to an increase in congenital rubella occurrence.

In an accompanying science commentary, Dr Abi Berger explains that in order to achieve 100 per cent protection against a highly infectious disease such as measles in the UK, the uptake of immunisation must be about 95 per cent. This is the concept of "herd immunity" which means that not every single person in a population has to be immunised in order to protect everyone in that population - so long as a sufficient number are immunised, protection will be conferred on everybody - explains Berger.

Panagiotopoulos et al investigated the events leading to the epidemic of congenital rubella syndrome. Their study of the population of Greece found that during the late 1970s (the rubella vaccine had been introduced in 1975) and the 1980s vaccination coverage of children did not reach 50-60 per cent until 1990.

Panagiotopoulos et al suggest that a vaccination programme of young children that doesn't achieve high coverage may increase the risk of congenital rubella syndrome. They conclude that in Greece this was due to inconsistent immunisation policies and that their findings emphasise the need to attain and sustain high immunisation coverage if vaccination of young children is introduced.


Dr Takis Panagiotopoulos, Senior Researcher, Department of Social Paediatrics, Institute of Child Health, Athens Tel: 301-7233-872
Fax: 301-7231-734

Dr Abi Berger, General Practitioner, c/o BMJ Press Office
Tel: 44-0-171-383-6529


Related Vaccination Articles from Brightsurf:

US adults' likelihood of accepting COVID-19 vaccination
In this survey study of U.S. adults, vaccine-related attributes and political characteristics were associated with self-reported preferences for choosing a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine and self- reported willingness to receive vaccination.

Vaccination insights
While scientists race to develop and test a vaccine effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, recent studies have indicated that countries with widespread BCG vaccination appear to be weathering the pandemic better than their counterparts.

Wording of vaccination messages influences behavior
An experiment by Washington State University researchers revealed that relatively small differences in messages influenced people's attitudes about the human papillomavirus or HPV vaccine, which has been shown to help prevent cancer.

Addressing HPV vaccination concerns
Research from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute finds a promising avenue for addressing vaccine hesitancy around HPV vaccine.

Virtual reality could help flu vaccination rates
Using a virtual reality simulation to show how flu spreads and its impact on others could be a way to encourage more people to get a flu vaccination, according to a study by researchers at the University of Georgia and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Religion associated with HPV vaccination rate for college women
A survey of female college students finds 25% had not been vaccinated for HPV and religion may be a contributing factor.

Measles vaccination: 'All for one and one for all'
A commentary by researchers addresses the specter of clinical, ethical, public health and legal concerns that have been raised because of the recent measles outbreaks in New York.

New single vaccination approach to killer diseases
Scientists from the University of Adelaide's Research Centre for Infectious Diseases have developed a single vaccination approach to simultaneously combat influenza and pneumococcal infections, the world's most deadly respiratory diseases.

Vaccination may help protect bats from deadly disease
A new study shows that vaccination may reduce the impact of white-nose syndrome in bats, marking a milestone in the international fight against one of the most destructive wildlife diseases in modern times.

Parents reassured febrile seizures following vaccination not dangerous
New University of Sydney research finds that febrile seizures after vaccination are rare, not serious and are no different to febrile seizures due to other causes such as from a virus.

Read More: Vaccination News and Vaccination Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.