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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 323; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030323

Hepatitis B Virus Vaccination Coverage in Medical, Nursing, and Paramedical Students: A Cross-Sectional, Multi-Centered Study in Greece

1 Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa 41222, Greece 2 Laboratory of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece 3 Department of Microbiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens 11527, Greece 4 Department of Medical Laboratories, Molecular Virology Laboratory, Technological Institution of Athens, Athens 12243, Greece 5 School of Health Professions, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 57400, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
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Students of health professions are at high risk of hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection during their clinical training. The aim of this cross-sectional, multi-centered study was to investigate the HBV vaccination coverage in Greek medical, nursing, and paramedical students, to look into their attitudes towards the importance of vaccines and to reveal reasons associated with not being vaccinated. A self-completed, anonymous questionnaire was distributed to 2119 students of health professions in Greece, during the academic year 2013–2014. The HBV vaccination coverage of students was high (83%), being higher among medical students (88.1%, vs. 81.4% among nursing and 80.1% among paramedical students; p < 0.001). The vast majority of them (95%) have been vaccinated during childhood. In addition, 30% of the unvaccinated students declared fear over HBV safety. Our results indicate that the healthcare students achieved higher reported immunization rates compared to the currently serving healthcare workers, but also to the students of the last decade. The fact that nursing and paramedical students have lower coverage figures underlines the importance of targeted interventions for the different subgroups of healthcare students in terms of educational programs and screening for HBV markers in order to increase HBV vaccination uptake.
Keywords: hepatitis B; vaccination; healthcare; students hepatitis B; vaccination; healthcare; students
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

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Papagiannis, D.; Tsimtsiou, Z.; Chatzichristodoulou, I.; Adamopoulou, M.; Kallistratos, I.; Pournaras, S.; Arvanitidou, M.; Rachiotis, G. Hepatitis B Virus Vaccination Coverage in Medical, Nursing, and Paramedical Students: A Cross-Sectional, Multi-Centered Study in Greece. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 323.

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