The team conducted 1508 telephone interviews with random samples of Vietnamese households in each of three study sites - Houston and Dallas, Texas, and Washington, DC.
In the interview, hepatitis B immunization dates for a randomly selected child (age 3 to 18 years old) in each household were requested. Immunization dates were verified through direct contact with each child's provider, where possible.
The study found that rates of having 3 hepatitis B vaccinations ranged from 13.6 per cent (entire sample) to 24.1 per cent (Dallas), 10.3 per cent to 26.4 per cent (Houston), and 18.1 per cent to 37.8 per cent (Washington, DC).
Those less likely to be immunized included children living in the Texas sites, older children, children whose families had lived in the United States for a longer time, and children whose provider was Vietnamese or who had an institutional provider.
The odds of being immunized were greater, however, for children who had had at least one diphtheria, tetanus toxoid, and pertussis shot, and whose parents had heard about HBV infection.
" A successful catch-up vaccination program for the Vietnamese-American population is needed " Dr Christopher Jenkins
Dr Christopher Jenkins concluded on behalf of the group that, "The low rates of hepatitis B vaccine coverage among children and adolescents portend a generation which, too old to benefit from infant programs and school entry laws, will grow into adulthood without the protection of immunization.
"Increased efforts are needed to design successful catch-up campaigns for this population."