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Vaccine. 2002 Aug 19;20(25-26):3130-6.

A random cluster survey and a convenience sample give comparable estimates of immunity to vaccine preventable diseases in children of school age in Victoria, Australia.

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Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Locked bag 815, 10 Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne 3051, Carlton South, Vic. 3053, Australia.


We compared estimates of the age-specific population immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella zoster viruses in Victorian school children obtained by a national sero-survey, using a convenience sample of residual sera from diagnostic laboratories throughout Australia, with those from a three-stage random cluster survey. When grouped according to school age (primary or secondary school) there was no significant difference in the estimates of immunity to measles, mumps, hepatitis B or varicella. Compared with the convenience sample, the random cluster survey estimated higher immunity to rubella in samples from both primary (98.7% versus 93.6%, P = 0.002) and secondary school students (98.4% versus 93.2%, P = 0.03). Despite some limitations, this study suggests that the collection of a convenience sample of sera from diagnostic laboratories is an appropriate sampling strategy to provide population immunity data that will inform Australia's current and future immunisation policies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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