Incomplete immunity and missed vaccination opportunities in East African immigrants settling in Australia

Susan A. Skull, Joanne Y.Y. Ngeow, Geoff Hogg, Beverley Ann Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

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