Increasing hepatitis B vaccination coverage of healthcare workers — global lessons for South Africa

Rosemary Joyce Burnett, Angela Dramowski, Edina Amponsah-Dacosta, Johanna Catharina Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of contracting hepatitis B (HB), a severe blood-borne vaccine-preventable disease, caused by HB virus (HBV) infection. Low HB vaccine (HepB) coverage has resulted in suboptimal protection and high HBV infection rates in South African HCWs. Studies from Africa have identified cost; unavailability/lack of access to HepB; and lack of awareness/knowledge of HB and HepB, as barriers to HCW uptake. Studies from Europe show little difference in HepB coverage between countries mandating versus recommending HepB. Providing easy and sustained access to free HepB to student HCWs, together with education about HB and HepB, are recommended to create demand for HepB. Only if this fails should mandatory vaccination be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Volume71
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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