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Vaccine. 2005 Mar 14;23(16):2016-20.

Seroprevalence and immunization history of selected vaccine preventable diseases in medical students.

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Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University Children's Hospital Basel, P.O. Box 8, CH-4005 Basel, Switzerland.


To evaluate protection against vaccine-preventable diseases in medical students, we obtained data on immunization status and history of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and hepatitis B from students with elective periods in our institution. Further, serum antibodies against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and hepatitis B surface (HBs) antigen were determined on a voluntary basis. For students with incomplete immunization status or lack of protective antibodies, vaccination was offered for free. Success of catch-up immunizations was serologically confirmed 4 weeks later. From May 1999 to April 2003, 170 students were enrolled; their mean age was 26 years with a median of 25 years (range 22-48 years). Immunization records were complete in 148 (87%), incomplete in 11 (6.5%) and missing in 11 (6.5%) students. Only 26% of the cohort had a complete and up-to-date immunization status. Seroprevalence of IgG antibodies against measles, mumps, rubella, VZV and HBs (> or = 10 IU/l) in 149 students were 85, 85, 92, 97 and 90%, respectively. Indications for > or = 1 catch-up immunization were found in 125 (74%) students and were accepted by 97 of them (78%). Sixty two (99%) of 63 immunized students available for follow-up demonstrated an adequate serological response. In conclusion, the great majority of medical students had immunization gaps. Systematic immunization programmes for medical students should be implemented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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