Aim: To determine whether hepatitis B virus (HBV)-testing could serve as a gateway to vaccinate non-immunized individuals in a low-prevalent country.
Methods: Non-immunized subjects participating in a multi-center, HBV-testing campaign in Paris, France were identified and contacted via telephone 3-9 mo after testing in order to determine vaccination status. Vaccination coverage was evaluated in per-protocol (for all respondents) and intent-to-treat analysis (assuming all non-responders did not vaccinate).
Results: In total, 1215/4924 (24.7%) enrolled subjects with complete HBV serology were identified as non-immunized and eligible for analysis. There were 99/902 successfully contacted subjects who had initiated HBV vaccination after screening: per-protocol, 11.0% (95%CI: 9.0-13.2); intent-to-treat, 8.2% (95%CI: 6.7-9.8). In multivariable analysis, vaccination was more likely to be initiated in individuals originating from moderate or high HBV-endemic countries (P < 0.001), patients with limited healthcare coverage (P = 0.01) and men who have sex with men (P = 0.02). When asked about the reasons for not initiating HBV vaccination, the most frequent response was "will be vaccinated later" (33.4%), followed by "did not want to vaccinate" (29.8%), and "vaccination was not proposed by the physician" (21.5%). Sub-group analysis indicated a stark contrast in vaccination coverage across centers, ranging from 0%-56%.
Conclusion: HBV-vaccination after HBV screening was very low in this study, which appeared largely attributed to physician-patient motivation towards vaccination. Increased vaccination coverage might be achieved by emphasizing its need at the organizational level.
Keywords: Health service organization; Hepatitis B virus vaccination; Public health; Testing intervention; Vaccine coverage.