Epidemiology and Infection

Short Report

Hepatitis B vaccination for healthcare personnel in American Samoa: pre-implementation survey for policy decision

K. N. LYa1 c1, H. ROBERTSa1, R. E. WILLIAMSa1, Y. MASUNU-FALEAFAGAa2, J. DROBENIUCa1, S. KAMILIa1 and E. H. TESHALEa1

a1 Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

a2 American Samoa Immunization Program, American Samoa Department of Health, Pago Pago, American Samoa

SUMMARY

American Samoa does not have a hepatitis B vaccination policy for healthcare personnel (HCP). Consequently, hepatitis B has remained a health threat to HCP. In this study, we performed a cross-sectional study and examined demographic and risk information and hepatitis B vaccination, testing, and serostatus in hospital employees in American Samoa. Of 604 hospital employees, 231 (38·2%) participated, and of these, 158 (68·4%) were HCP. Of HCP participants, 1·9% had chronic hepatitis B infection, 36·1% were susceptible, and 60·8% were immune. Nearly half of HCP participants reported history of needlestick injury. Overall, participants' knowledge of their hepatitis B infection and vaccination status was low. These data support the adoption of a hepatitis B vaccination policy for HCP by American Samoa, as currently recommended by the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adherence to the policy could be monitored as a way to measure protection.

(Received July 31 2013)

(Revised December 12 2013)

(Accepted December 16 2013)

Key words

  • American Samoa;
  • healthcare personnel;
  • hepatitis B awareness;
  • hepatitis B serostatus;
  • hepatitis B vaccination policy;
  • occupational risk

Correspondence

c1 Author for correspondence: Mrs K. N. Ly, Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, Mailstop G-37, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. (Email: KathleenLy@cdc.gov)

Footnotes

  This work was presented in preliminary form at the 2012 Infectious Disease Week Meeting, San Diego, CA, USA, 17–21 October 2012.

Metrics