Dr Milena Marszalek, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in General Practice and member of Queen Mary University of London’s Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG), has been awarded £7,000 from Barts Charity to investigate the impacts of ethnicity and deprivation on timely uptake of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine in children.
London has a problem with MMR vaccination. In contrast to other areas of the UK, no London borough is meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) target of 95% coverage, below which there is real danger of a measles outbreak. With support from Barts Charity, Dr Milena Marszalek will lead an observational cohort study using data from general practice vaccination records in North East London. She will explore the impacts of ethnicity and deprivation on timely childhood vaccination, and map clusters of unprotected children and households in the region. Local services can use this information to increase MMR coverage in communities most at risk of a measles outbreak.
Linking health records with geospatial data also makes it possible to investigate whether households with one unprotected child include other unprotected children, and the characteristics of households that are more likely to have more than one unprotected child. With the support of Dr Megan Clinch, patient and public involvement theme lead in Queen Mary’s Wolfson Institute for Population Health, Milena has developed a plan to share the findings of her study with patient groups, parents and primary care teams who are currently involved in designing a new tool for GP practices to help reduce inequalities in immunisation.
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