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Med J Aust. 2008 Nov 3;189(9):484-6.

Vaccination and screening of medical students: results of a student health initiative.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW. a.torda@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the immune status and vaccination needs of first-year medical students in relation to bloodborne viruses and common vaccine-preventable diseases.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Survey of first-year medical students at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, attending a mandatory screening and vaccination clinic, 2002-2005.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Self-reported history of vaccination or natural infection; serological evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (presence of specific IgG) and hepatitis B (presence of hepatitis B virus surface antibodies) or infection with hepatitis B and C viruses and HIV; and Mantoux test results.

RESULTS:

733 students attended the clinic (85% of those enrolled). Four students were positive for HBsAg and four had hepatitis C antibodies. None were HIV-positive. Twenty-nine per cent (216/733) were not immune to hepatitis B, 33% (238/724) to mumps, 26% (190/724) to measles, 13% (91/724) to rubella and 10% (75/724) to varicella. About 23% (91/237) needed further testing for tuberculosis. Immunity corresponded poorly with self-reported history of vaccination. More students reported vaccination against rubella (96%), measles (81%) and mumps (80%) than were immune, and fewer reported vaccination against hepatitis B (44%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Many students were not immune to vaccine-preventable diseases, and a small number had a previously undiagnosed bloodborne virus infection (hepatitis B or C). The level of immunity to vaccine-preventable infections was unacceptable and justified the provision of an easily accessible program for screening and vaccination.

PMID:
18976187
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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