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Screening Hospital Employees for Measles Immunity Is More Cost Effective than Blind Immunization

John A. Sellick Jr., DO; Debra Longbine, PA; Richard Schifeling, MD; and Joseph M. Mylotte, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Requests for Reprints: John A. Sellick, Jr., DO, Department of Medicine, Buffalo General Hospital, 100 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Sellick and Mylotte: Department of Medicine, Buffalo General Hospital, 100 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203.

Ms. Longbine and Dr. Schifeling: Employee Health Department, Buffalo General Hospital, 100 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203.


From State University of New York at Buffalo and Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York. For current author addresses, see end of text.


© 1992 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(12_Part_1):982-984. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-116-12-982
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Objective: To examine alternative strategies in developing a cost-effective program to assure measles immunity among hospital employees.

Design: Observational.

Setting: Referral teaching hospital.

Participants: Eighteen hundred "established" hospital employees with potential patient contact and 630 newly hired hospital employees.

Interventions: Established employees born after 1 January 1957 and all newly hired employees were screened for serologic evidence of measles immunity and immunized if necessary.

Measurements: Cost analysis.

Results: The cost of screening and directed immunization of established employees was $3.98 per employee compared with a potential cost of $10.03 to $42.80 per employee if all employees were "blindly" immunized with monovalent measles vaccine or trivalent mumps-measles-rubella vaccine. The cost of the screening and directed immunization of new employees was $2.42 per employee compared with potential costs of $8.30 to $39.34 per employee for blind immunization. These analyses assumed that varying percentages of employees would be able to produce documentation of having received a previous dose of vaccine or of having had measles.

Conclusions: In a large referral hospital, screening for measles immunity followed by directed immunization was considerably less expensive than immunizing all potentially susceptible employees.

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