1 Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, WI, USA.
2 Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA.
Despite recommendations for vaccination against hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) for all adults at increased risk of infection, several US states have reported increases in HAV and HBV infections among persons who inject drugs. We investigated hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccination coverage among a sample of persons who reported injecting drugs and had evidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
We searched the Wisconsin Immunization Registry for the vaccination records of persons who underwent HCV testing at syringe services programs from January 1 through August 31, 2018, and were reported to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health as having positive HCV antibody test results and a history of injection drug use. We calculated the percentage of persons who were vaccinated according to national recommendations.
Of 215 persons reported, 204 (94.9%) had a client record in the Wisconsin Immunization Registry. Of these 204 persons, 66 (32.4%) had received ≥1 dose of hepatitis A vaccine, 46 (22.5%) had received 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine, and 115 (56.4%) had received 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccine coverage decreased with increasing age, from 88.0% (22 of 25) among adults aged 20-24 to 30.3% (10 of 33) among adults aged 35-39.
These findings suggest that most persons who inject drugs in Wisconsin are susceptible to HAV infection and that most persons aged ≥35 who inject drugs are susceptible to HBV infection. In addition to routine vaccination of children, targeted hepatitis vaccination programs should focus on adults who inject drugs to help prevent future infections.