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Public Health Rep. 1991 Sep-Oct; 106(5): 529–535.
PMCID: PMC1580298

Availability and use of hepatitis B vaccine in laboratory and nursing schools in the United States.


Hepatitis B is a well-documented occupational hazard for health care workers, including both laboratory and nursing personnel. Since the development of effective hepatitis B vaccines, the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP) has recommended that health care workers receive the vaccine. In this study, 78 laboratory training programs and 83 nursing training programs were surveyed regarding availability and usage of hepatitis B vaccine. The hepatitis B vaccine was made available to students in 81 percent of the laboratory programs and 23 percent of the nursing programs. In those programs making the vaccine available, only 59 percent of the laboratory programs and 5 percent of the nursing programs reported a high (greater than 75 percent) use by students. Concern about cost and payment for the vaccine was the most common reason (80 percent) noted by laboratory schools that did not have hepatitis B vaccination programs for students. Of the nursing schools that did not have vaccine programs, 58 percent had not yet considered a program. At laboratory schools with vaccination programs, who paid for the vaccine (hospital or school versus student) was among the most important determinants for vaccine usage by students. These findings point out that some laboratory schools and many nursing schools have not applied the ACIP recommendations to their own programs. Educational efforts and creative payment plans for the vaccine are needed to increase the availability and use of hepatitis B vaccine among laboratory and nursing students.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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  • Echavez MI, Shaw FE, Jr, Scarlett MI, Kane MA. Hepatitis B vaccine usage among dental practitioners in the United States: an epidemiological survey. J Public Health Dent. 1987 Fall;47(4):182–185. [PubMed]
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