Healthcare workers (HCW) are at increased risk of contracting hepatitis B virus (HBV) and are, therefore, vaccinated pre-exposure. In this study, the HBV vaccination programme for medical students in a university hospital in the Netherlands was evaluated. In the first part, the effectiveness of the programme, which consisted of a vaccination with Engerix-B® at 0, 1, and 6 months, was retrospectively evaluated over 7 years (2012–2019). In the second part of this study, we followed students (the 2019 cohort) who had previously been vaccinated against HBV vaccination (4–262 months prior to primary presentation) in order to investigate the most efficient strategy to obtain an adequate anti hepatitis B surface antigen titre. In the latter, titre determination was performed directly during primary presentation instead of giving previously vaccinated students a booster vaccination first. The vaccination programme, as evaluated in the retrospective first part of the study, was effective (surpassed the protection limit of 10 IU/L) in 98.8 percent of the students (95% CI (98.4–99.2)). In the second part of our study, we found that 80 percent (95% CI (70–87)) of the students who had previously been vaccinated against HBV were still sufficiently protected and did not require a booster vaccination. With this strategy, the previously vaccinated students needed an average of 1.4 appointments instead of the 2 appointments needed with the former strategy. This knowledge is important and can save time and resources in the process of occupational HBV vaccination of HCW.

Anti-HBs, Healthcare workers, Hepatitis B, Long-term protection, Vaccination,
Department of Virology

van Leeuwen, L.P.M. (Leanne P. M.), Doornekamp, L. (Laura), Goeijenbier, S, de Jong, W, de Jager, H, van Gorp, E.C.M, & Goeijenbier, M. (2021). Evaluation of the hepatitis b vaccination programme in medical students in a dutch university hospital. Vaccines, 9(2), 1–9. doi:10.3390/vaccines9020069