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Paper of the Day - Parents say no to new combination vaccines

Most parents would want any new vaccine to be given separately rather than being combined with existing vaccines, suggests a survey of 859 parents.

The findings come the week after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation was asked to consider whether to introduce a varicella zoster vaccine as part of the childhood immunisation schedule – possibly in a quadrivalent combination with MMR.

Researchers at London's Institute of Child Health asked parents of children aged between 18 and 24 months from three English PCTs to complete a questionnaire on potential new vaccines – including chicken pox.

The idea of new vaccines against life threatening infections was perceived positively, with 84% of those who felt meningitis was serious or very serious saying they would accept a meningococcal B vaccine.

But only 34% of those who felt their child would make a full recovery from chicken pox said they would accept a vaccine.

The survey also uncovered serious concerns over combination vaccines in general- not just MMR- with 71% saying they would prefer a new vaccine to be given separately.

Parents of incompletely immunised children were far more likely to want this- 83% versus 50% of those with fully immunised children.

However slightly more than half of parents- 57% - would not want their children to have more than two jabs per visit.

Vaccine online in press 18 September

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