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Rubella screening and immunization of schoolgirls: a long-term evaluation
  1. Helen Zealley
  1. Regional Virus Laboratory, City Hospital, Edinburgh


    A three-year rubella immunization programme is described in which 9,231 Edinburgh schoolgirls were screened for rubella antibodies. Of these girls 2,519 (27·3%) were found to have rubella HAI titres of < 32, and 2,258 were immunized with either Cendehill or RA27/3 rubella vaccine. Of those who were immunized, 99% were found to have detectable HAI antibody two months later.

    From the first cohort (born in 1956) 1,072 girls have been enrolled in a 20-year programme to study the long-term value of these rubella vaccine strains; 536 of these girls had an initial HAI titre of < 32 and were immunized with rubella vaccine or remained at risk because they refused immunization. Each girl has been paired with another who was found to be immune by natural infection. Of the 1,072 girls concerned, 1,031 (96%) remained in the programme at the end of the first year. Further serological tests at this time showed that 93% of all girls had HAI titres that were either stable or within a twofold variation of the previous sample.

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    • Formerly Registrar, Regional Virus Laboratory, City Hospital, Edinburgh. Present Address: Fellow in Community Medicine, South-Eastern Regional Hospital Board, 11 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh.