Objectives: We demonstrated the effectiveness of an accelerated hepatitis B vaccination schedule in drug users.
Methods: We compared the long-term effectiveness of accelerated (0-1-2 months) and standard (0-1-6 months) hepatitis B vaccination schedules in preventing hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections and anti-hepatitis B (anti-HBs) antibody loss during 2-year follow-up in 707 drug users (HIV and HBV negative at enrollment and completed 3 vaccine doses) from February 2004 to October 2009.
Results: Drug users in the accelerated schedule group had significantly lower HBV infection rates, but had a similar rate of anti-HBs antibody loss compared with the standard schedule group over 2 years of follow-up. No chronic HBV infections were observed. Hepatitis C positivity at enrollment and age younger than 40 years were independent risk factors for HBV infection and antibody loss, respectively.
Conclusions: An accelerated vaccination schedule was more preferable than a standard vaccination schedule in preventing HBV infections in drug users. To overcome the disadvantages of a standard vaccination schedule, an accelerated vaccination schedule should be considered in drug users with low adherence. Our study should be repeated in different cohorts to validate our findings and establish the role of an accelerated schedule in hepatitis B vaccination guidelines for drug users.