Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Further efforts needed to achieve measles elimination in Germany: results of an outbreak investigation

Ole Wichmann, Anette Siedler, Daniel Sagebiel, Wiebke Hellenbrand, Sabine Santibanez, Annette Mankertz, Georg Vogt, Ulrich van Treeck & Gérard Krause

Volume 87, Number 2, February 2009, 108-115

Table 1. Reasons for not being vaccinated against measles given by parents of 272 unvaccinated measles patients in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 2006

Reason for not being vaccinateda Number Percent
Parents forgot about the vaccination 115 36.4
Parents rejected the vaccination 88 27.8
Afraid of side-effects 41
Generally against vaccinations 38
Believed measles were not harmful 9
Family doctor or paediatrician recommended against vaccination 53 16.8
Underlying diseases of the child 19b
Held opinion “it is not necessary” 15
Concerns about side-effects 4
No reasons given 15
Child was too young for vaccination (< 12 months) 41 13.0
Vaccination was not offered by family doctor or paediatrician 19 6.0


a More than one reason was given by 44. Patients with missing data (n = 33) or who answered “don’t know” (n = 68) were excluded.
b In 18 of these 19 cases, the reasons provided were not considered true contraindications by the outbreak investigation team (e.g. eczema, “often sick”). In one child an immunodefect was considered a true contraindication.

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