INVESTIGATING FUTURE PHARMACISTS UNDERSTANDING OF VACCINES AND MYTHS SURROUNDING VACCINATION
Objective: The United Kingdom has lost its measles, mumps and rubella free status due to a decline in vaccination uptake. There are several beliefs such as safety concern and media influence that discourage people from having vaccinations. To identify gaps in knowledge of vaccination within 3rd year pharmacy students, and to observe whether they can spot myths about vaccines, in particular the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
Methods: A questionnaire-based approach was used after gaining ethical approval which included a range of open and closed questions.
Results: None of the participants could identify the six common myths reported by the World Health Organisation and 40% failed to accurately identify the type of vaccine of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. There were clear gaps in knowledge on vaccines in participants particularly from black, Asian and minority ethnic group participants compared to white students. Educating participants about the myths could have positive future implications on their scientific knowledge when they work as pharmacists.
Conclusion: Many students did not accurately identify the myths surrounding vaccines and were provided informative leaflets to enhance their scientific knowledge. The gaps in knowledge identified, demonstrates that further teaching sessions should be implemented to cover the grey areas, allowing them to appropriately recommend vaccinations in the future.
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