Incomplete Immunity and Missed Vaccination Opportunities in East African Immigrants Settling in Australia

Susan Anne Skull, J Ngeow, G Hogg, B Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Immigrants and refugees are at particular risk of incomplete immunisation and may be unaware of their vaccination status. There is a paucity of data on the immunisation status of adult immigrants from African countries. Aims: To review the immunisation status of adult immigrants from East Africa, and to identify missed opportunities for vaccination. Methods: A community survey was conducted using self-reported vaccination status, Mantoux skin tests, and serological testing for immunity to hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria and measles. Results: Proven inadequate immunity against at least one of tetanus (67%), hepatitis B (41%), diphtheria (34%) or measles (3%) was found among 100/126 (81%) participants despite a median of seven visits to vaccine providers since immigration. A positive Mantoux test occurred in 17% of participants. Conclusions: Pre- and post-arrival health assessments are currently failing to address vaccination needs in recently arrived East African adult immigrants. Immigrants should have their immunisation status assessed, with opportunistic vaccination provided wherever possible. � Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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