Hepatitis B immunization in a university student population.
Ganguly R. Marty PJ. Herold AH. Anderson M.
University of South Florida, Tampa, Department of Internal Medicine, USA.
In the United States, hepatitis B virus infection occurs predominantly among adolescents and young adults, despite the availability of an effective vaccine. Immunization status and hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine acceptance among 505 students visiting the student health services of a large southern university were investigated. Only 58 students had received HBV vaccine. The cost of the vaccine was paid by the students personally (35.5%) or by their parents (34.5%) or employers (31.0%). Nearly half of the students (45.7%) did not know their vaccination status. Lower immunization percentages were found among Hispanics, men, persons of lower education levels, and students aged 25 years and under. Being immunized was related to the perception that the vaccine was affordable, although most students (95.7%) said that the cost of HBV vaccine was excessive. Health professionals' emphasis on the need for HBV vaccination and a reduction in the price of the vaccine could improve HBV immunization rates among university students.