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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Lin, Chen-Li Shih, Shu-Fang Tsai, Ping-Hsiu and Liang, Ai-Chi 2016. Is birth cohort 1985/9–1990/8 a susceptibility window for congenital rubella syndrome in Taiwan?. Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 55, Issue. 3, p. 368.

    Lao, Terence T. Sahota, Daljit S. Law, Lai-Wa and Leung, Tak-Yeung 2015. Rubella seronegativity in antenatal screening – Is it influenced by the introduction of universal childhood rubella immunization?. Vaccine, Vol. 33, Issue. 38, p. 4776.


Is the MMR vaccination programme failing to protect women against rubella infection?

  • S. SKIDMORE (a1), E. BOXALL (a2) and S. LORD (a2) (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 19 August 2013

In recent years the number of pregnant women susceptible to rubella has increased markedly. In the West Midlands the proportion has risen from 1·4% in 2004 to 6·9% in 2011. Locally, the proportion of non-immune women ranges from 1·6% in those born prior to 1976 to 17·8% in those born since 1986. The latter group comprises those given MMR in their second year with no further booster doses. The number of non-immune women will continue to rise as a consequence of low MMR uptake in the late 1990s. Repeat testing of samples with values <10 IU/ml and the need to vaccinate women postnatally have increased the workload of laboratory and maternity units. Screening for rubella in pregnancy has no advantages for the current pregnancy and it may be time to review the universal MMR vaccination programme which in turn would remove the need for continuing this practice.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr S. Skidmore, Department of Microbiology, Princess Royal Hospital, Telford TF1 6TF, UK. (Email:
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.Public Health England. Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy Screening Programme. Handbook for Laboratories ( Accessed 6 August 2013.

2. Antenatal screening for rubella susceptibility – 2011 review ( Accessed 6 August 2013.

3.NICE. Routine postnatal care of women and their babies. NICE clinical guidance 37. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2006 ( Accessed 6 August 2013.

6. LByrne , Seroprevalence of low IgG antibody levels among antenatal women in England tested by NHS Blood and Transplant: 2004–2009. Is rubella susceptibility increasing? Vaccine 2012; 30: 161167.

7. CYung , SSkidmore , SLord . Postpartum MMR immunization uptake in non-immune women. British Journal of Midwifery 2008; 16: 288291.

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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