In 1994, immunization against hepatitis B was implemented in schools in Quebec, targeting grade 4 students. In 1996-1997 and 1997-1998, one Local Community Service Centre (CLSC) replaced the school-based program in its district with vaccination offered in community clinics after school hours. The aim of the current study was to compare the effectiveness and costs of school-based and clinic-based programs.
Vaccination coverage data were collected in the CLSC with the clinic-based program (CBP), and in three matched CLSCs with a school-based program (SBP), from 1994 to 2000. Surveys were conducted to estimate costs to parents, to schools and to CLSCs in 1997-1998.
With the implementation of the CBP, the vaccination coverage fell to 73%, compared with over 90% in the SBPs. Coverage increased to 90% when the CBP was abandoned. Costs to the CLSC were not much lower in the CBP. Societal costs were $63 per student vaccinated in the CBP, and