Hepatitis B vaccination coverage among healthcare workers at national hospital in Tanzania: how much, who and why?
BMC Infectious Diseases, December 2017
Dotto Aaron, Tumaini J. Nagu, John Rwegasha, Ewaldo Komba
Hepatitis B vaccination for healthcare workers (HCWs) is a key component of the WHO Hepatitis B Elimination Strategy 2016-2021. Data on current hepatitis B vaccine coverage among health care workers in Sub-Saharan Africa are scarce, but these data are vital for effective programming. We assessed the proportion of HCWs vaccinated for hepatitis B and the factors associated with adequate vaccination coverage at a national hospital in Tanzania. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among consenting healthcare workers between 30th July and 30th September 2015. Vaccination histories were obtained through self-administered questionnaires. Means and proportions were used to summarize the data. Student's t and chi-squared tests were used as appropriate. Logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with vaccination. A total of 348 HCWs were interviewed, of whom 198 (56.9%) had received at least one dose of hepatitis B vaccination, while only 117 (33.6%) were fully vaccinated. About half of the 81 HCWs with partial vaccination (49.4%) had missed their subsequent vaccination appointments. Among unvaccinated HCWs, 14 (9.3%) had either HBV infection or antibodies against HBV infection upon pre-vaccination screening. However, the remaining participants were not vaccinated and did not know their immune status against HBV. Nearly all respondents (347, 99.3%) had heard about the hepatitis B viral vaccine. The following reasons for non-vaccination were given: 98 (65.3%) reported that they had not been offered the vaccine; 70 (46.7%) observed standard precautions to ensure infection prevention and 60 (41.3%) blamed a low level of awareness regarding the availability of the hepatitis B vaccine. The current vaccination coverage among practicing healthcare workers at Muhimbili National Hospital is low, despite a high level of awareness and the acceptance of the vaccine. Expedited and concerted efforts to scale vaccine uptake should include improved access to the vaccine, especially for newly recruited HCWs. The extension of the study to private healthcare settings and lower-level facilities would be useful.
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