Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Leveraging digital surveillance to identify gaps and inequities in Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccination

Benjamin Rader, PhD, MPH


BACKGROUND: Measles is a highly infectious and deadly pediatric disease, posing significant health risks to children, particularly with declining MMR vaccination rates. In 2022, it was estimated that between 9 and 15 million U.S. children were susceptible to measles due to inadequate immunization. GAP: Misinformation surrounding the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine has fueled vaccine hesitancy, causing MMR vaccine coverage rates to drop. However, highly resolved geographic and demographic details MMR vaccine refusals are often unavailable and state-level vaccination data is usually collated retrospectively. HYPOTHESIS: We will test the null hypothesis that vaccination rates are consistent across the population. METHODS: MMR vaccination data will be collected via a digital participatory surveillance platform and then analyzed with small area estimation techniques to identify and map communities with low vaccination rates. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: Following the identification of communities with suboptimal MMR vaccination rates, targeted interventions and revised vaccination policies can be developed to address specific concerns, potentially enhancing vaccine uptake. By focusing efforts in high-risk areas, the findings have the potential to reduce the probability of a measles outbreak in children, thereby directly contributing to the prevention of related morbidity and mortality. Website Link:

Supervising Institution:
Boston Children's Hospital

John Brownstein

Project Location:

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