Acceptance and completion of hepatitis B vaccination among drug users in New York City.

D. C. Ompad, S. Galea, Y. Wu, C. M. Fuller, M. Latka, B. Koblin, D. Vlahov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination rates remain low among drug users. We examined correlates of vaccine acceptance and completion in two ongoing prospective studies of young injecting and non-injecting drug users in New York City. Street recruited drug users were enrolled at one of two neighbourhood locations (Harlem and the Bronx) between 2000 and 2004 and completed risk behaviour questionnaires and HBV testing. Free HBV vaccination was offered. Among 1117 participants, 26.1% (275) had a previous HBV infection, 57.9% (610) were susceptible to HBV, and 16.0% (169) had serological evidence of previous vaccination. Of the 610 participants susceptible to HBV, 466 (76.4%) returned for their results and were offered vaccination; 53.9% (251) received at least one dose of the vaccine (acceptors). Correlates of vaccine acceptance included older age, public assistance as main income source, and being recruited in the Bronx. Daily crack users were significantly less likely to initiate the vaccine series. Among 240 vaccine acceptors, 98 (40.8%) completed all three doses. Daily injectors, Hispanics, and those recruited in Harlem were less likely to complete the vaccination series. HBV vaccination acceptance among drug users seems likely in programmes that are convenient and offer remuneration; however, extended efforts are needed to improve series completion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalCommunicable disease and public health / PHLS
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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