Self-reported data on vaccination status collected in 1995 and 1996 from seven of the 39 drug agencies in England that took part in the unlinked anonymous HIV prevalence monitoring programme of injecting drug users were analysed to estimate hepatitis B vaccine coverage in this population. Twenty-seven per cent (374/1366) of injecting drug users (IDUs) reported vaccination against hepatitis B and 13% (172) reported having received three doses of vaccine. Eighteen per cent of the IDUs who reported vaccination (66/374) were found to have a marker in their saliva of past/current hepatitis B infection (antibody to hepatitis B core (anti-HBc)) compared with 23% (232/992) of those unvaccinated. Over half (760/1366) of all IDUs tested reported not having been vaccinated against hepatitis B were negative for anti-HBc, and therefore remained susceptible to infection. Targeted vaccination for IDUs against hepatitis B in England has had little success so far, suggesting that enhanced or alternative strategies need to be adopted.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Communicable disease and public health / PHLS|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1999|