In 1989–91 anti-measles vaccination campaigns were conducted in several Italian regions to vaccinate all children aged between 13 months and 10–12 years without a history of measles or measles vaccination. This study was conducted to evaluate serological status after the mass vaccination campaigns. In 1994, capillary blood samples were collected from randomly selected children, aged 2–14 years, living in 13 local health units. Antibody titres were determined by ELISA. Blood spot samples were analysed for 4114 (75·6%) of 5440 selected children. Among the 835 that reported measles before 1990, 806 (96·5%) were immune and of the 2798 vaccinated, 2665 (95·2%) were immune. The Edmoston–Zagreb (E–Z) strain vaccine was associated with a lower level of immunity than the Schwarz (SW) strain. A history of measles identified almost all immune children. Vaccination with the SW strain conferred persistent immunity (at least 5 years) in 98% of vaccinees. The strategy was able to unite natural and induced immunity.