Hepatitis B Vaccination Coverage Among Iranian Medical Students and Nursing Staff
After elapsing more than a decade since the beginning of hepatitis B vaccination program in Iran, this study was designed to investigate the level of hepatitis B vaccination coverage in medical students and nursing staff of Kerman teaching hospitals and to explore the main barriers to vaccination. This cross-sectional study was performed on 493 randomly selected medical students and hospital staff working in different wards of the four teaching hospitals of Kerman, Iran (I.R.). Data gathering was done by using a questionnaire including items related to vaccination history and the main barriers to vaccination. Although 86.8% of the health care workers (HCWs) had been vaccinated against hepatitis B, complete vaccination had been performed in only 71.7% of them. Barriers to complete vaccination, in spite of good knowledge of subjects in this regard (93.6%), were negligence (44.6%), unavailability of vaccine (27.7%), fear of complications (9.2%) and lack of knowledge (6.2%). There was significant difference between the students and nurses in regard to their vaccination coverage level (p<0.02) and barriers to complete vaccination (p<0.001). From 83 subjects who had tested their HBSAg prior to the vaccination, 8 ones (9.6%) were positive HBSAg. There was also significant difference between the two groups in the rate of performing vaccination before entering the hospital (76.2% of students vs. 32.5% of nurses, p<0.001). Considering high rate of positive HBSAg among hospital staff, insufficient knowledge about the necessity of complete vaccination against hepatitis B and high risk of exposure in the studied groups, enhancing the uptake of the vaccine by this target population should be a priority to the health policy experts in Kerman and possibly Iran.
Copyright: © 2008 Seddiqe Amini-Ranjbar and Mohammad Esmaeel Motlagh. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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- Hepatitis B vaccination
- health care workers