In October 2018, a measles (rubeola) outbreak was identified in New York City (NYC) & Rockland County (RC) and a public health campaign and hospital policy changes were made to increase awareness of the importance of vaccination and increase vaccination rates. We describe the prevalence of rubeola immunity in pregnant women and the change in uptake of postpartum MMR vaccination before and during the measles outbreak.
A multi-pronged intervention was developed by the health system with the intent of raising awareness of the outbreak, identifying patients at risk of contracting measles during pregnancy, and limiting exposure of inpatients to the disease. This was a quality improvement study to assess the impact of the intervention and public health policy on the rates of documentation of rubeola immunity and rubeola vaccination rates in non-immune women. Women who delivered at NYU Langone Health prior to the outbreak (7/1/2016 to 7/1/2017) were compared to women who delivered during the outbreak (7/1/18 to 7/1/19). The primary outcome was acceptance of MMR vaccination in non-immune women during the postpartum period. Analysis was conducted using logistic regression and chi-square tests, and alpha was set at 0.05.
19585 patients were analyzed. 9,162 women delivered prior to outbreak and 10,423 delivered during the outbreak. Of these, 2589 (13.2%) were documented as living in a high-risk ZIP code, which were areas at the epicenter of the measles outbreak. 14,731 women (75.2%) were tested for rubeola immunity and 3270 (22.2%) of those tested were not immune. In the year of the outbreak, a higher proportion of women had rubeola immunity documented with serum titers than in the year prior to the outbreak (81% vs. 69%, p<0.001). Inpatient compliance with postpartum MMR administration was greater during the outbreak than prior to it (76% vs 59%, p <.001) for patients from both low risk and high-risk ZIP codes.
The NYC & RC measles outbreak, together with implementation of a health system wide education program and a change in public health policy led to an increase in the proportion of pregnant women being screened for rubeola immunity. It also led to an increase in uptake of the immediate postpartum MMR vaccine.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.