The aim of the study was to find out why there was a low attendance at a vaccination campaign against hepatitis B carried out amongst hospital staff in Copenhagen (Bispebjerg Hospital). An anonymous questionnaire was sent to 653 employees in June 1991. Subjects were asked to describe occupational percutaneous and mucocutaneous blood exposure and vaccination status, as well as why they had not become vaccinated. Three hundred and forty-three (51%) subjects responded. Sixty percent had been exposed to blood during the last six months, especially doctors (79.6%), both physicians and surgeons, registered nurses (66.7%) and laboratory technicians (39.4%). Sixty-seven percent had started vaccination against hepatitis B and 86.7% had completed three vaccinations. Reasons not to become vaccinated were: afraid of secondary effects, doubt about the security of the vaccine, didn't receive any offer of vaccination, low risk of blood exposure and had not thought about it. In conclusion, a lot of hospital staff members have a high risk of blood exposure and thus possibility of infection with a blood-transmitted disease. Information about hepatitis B and information about the vaccine is important. All doctors, both physicians and surgeons, ought to be vaccinated against hepatitis B. Instructions against blood exposure need to be repeated over and over again.
In March 1990, a vaccination campaign against hepatitis B was organized in a municipal hospital in Copenhagen (Bispebjerg Hospital). The hospital staff (830 subjects) at risk of infection with hepatitis B were offered vaccination with Engerix B. The vaccination was given as Engerix B (recombinant DNA vaccine) in muscle deltoid after 0, 1 and 6 months. Antibody level was measured after one month. A total of 362 (44%) received vaccination against hepatitis B and 86% of these completed the vaccination schedule and received at least three vaccinations. 95% of the vaccinated subjects were protected after three vaccinations (HBsAg more than 10 IU/l). Conclusion: The recombinant DNA vaccine does not differ from the plasma-derived vaccine concerning immunogenicity and adverse reactions. There was a low compliance with the vaccination campaign, especially among doctors (35%) and laboratory technicians (35%), despite central organization.