Shamarina D, Sluga-O'Callaghan M, Dave V, Davenport E, Curran D, Marijam A, Andani A. Knowledge and attitudes of European HCPs towards hepatitis A and B vaccination of adults at risk. Poster presented at the 15th European Public Health Conference 2022 (EPH); November 9, 2022. Berlin, Germany.

BACKGROUND: In Europe, despite low endemicity for both hepatitis A (hepA) and B (hepB), hepA outbreaks were reported. Currently, no universal recommendations are in place for adult hepA/B vaccination in Europe. Limited data exist on the vaccination of populations at risk (e.g. travellers, men who have sex with men [MSM], patients with chronic liver disease, immunocompromised patients), although local recommendations exist. In 2021/2022, we surveyed health care professionals (HCPs) to understand their awareness of and adherence to hepA/B vaccination guidelines for adults at risk.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, web-based survey of HCPs (general/family physicians and HCPs working in sexual health clinics [UK only]) from Germany/Spain/UK on recommending, prescribing and/or administering hepA/B vaccines to adults at risk.

RESULTS: Of 698 HCPs included (Germany: 237, Spain: 230, UK: 231), 96% reported recommending, prescribing and/or administering hepA vaccine and 98% hepB vaccine. 91% of HCPs were aware of local guidelines and ≥73% used these for hepA/B/combined hepA+B vaccination decision-making always/most of the time. Most HCPs considered vaccination against hepA (72%–93%) and hepB (88%–92%) in adults at risk as moderately/extremely important. HCPs’ recommendations on hepA/B vaccination to adults at risk ranged from 67% (adults with multiple sex partners) to 93% (travellers) for hepA and from 81% (travellers) to 92% (MSM) for hepB. The most common reasons for not recommending hepA/B vaccines were uncertainty on guidelines and perceived low risk in a given population, more frequent for hepA than hepB.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite high levels of awareness and recommendation of hepA/B vaccines, there is a disconnect between HCPs recommending and patients receiving the vaccine. Raising awareness on hepA/B diseases/prevention may increase vaccination coverage rates and is part of the WHO strategy for viral hepatitis elimination by 2030.

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