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2005

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METHODOLOGY

  Frerichs RR, Shaheen MA. Small-community-based surveys. Annu Rev Public Health 22, 231-47, 2001.

Rapid, small surveys are routinely done in much of the developing world but are less common in the United States. We present as an example a rapid survey of immunization status and other factors in a predominantly Hispanic region in Los Angeles. The survey united county employees, students, and community volunteers, first to enumerate the eligible population and then to conduct in-person interviews. Sampling was done in two stages in a downtown region of Los Angeles. Over the course of two weekends and during clean-up the following week, volunteers and others enumerated 718 eligible children in 30 clusters (i.e. groups of blocks). At the second stage, also in two weekends with midweek clean-up, we selected by simple random sample 10 children per cluster. The parents or legal guardians of 270 children were interviewed about vaccination issues, including home presence of an immunization card. Nearly one fourth of the respondents did not have a home telephone number and thus would have been underrepresented in a telephone survey. Information from such rapid surveys is important for local program planning and evaluation.

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