Publications & Reports

Hepatitis A vaccination of child care workers in Victoria: are recommendations being implemented?

Thomson JA, Kennedy R, Thompson SC
Epidemiology and Social Research Unit, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Victoria.

Abstract

This study examined the self-reported hepatitis A and B immunisation status of child care workers, the level of awareness among child care workers of the NHMRC recommendation for immunisation against hep. A and centre practices. A confidential mail survey was conducted in June 1996 with workers and co-ordinators from 113 randomly selected child care centres. Co-ordinators completed a questionnaire on the centre’s characteristics and immunisation policy. Child care workers completed a second questionnaire on their immunisation knowledge or beliefs and immunisation status. Ninety-five centres (85%) and 607 (74%) workers participated. Only 11% of workers were vaccinated against hep. A, although the majority of child care worker respondents believed their occupation placed them at increased risk. Those vaccinated were more likely to be aware of the availability of hep. A vaccine, of the NHMRC recommendation for hep. A vaccination, and to have been vaccinated for hep. B. Centres in which co-ordinators perceived hep. A vaccination as important, and those which recorded staff immunisation, particularly hep. A, were more likely to have child care workers who were vaccinated against hep. A. In contrast, nearly two-thirds of child care workers reported that they were vaccinated against hep. B, although hep. B is not routinely recommended by the NHMRC for child care workers. These findings show a need for further policy and educational initiatives in the implementation of an immunisation strategy for child care workers.

Publication

  • Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
  • Published: 01/12/1998
  • Volume: 22
  • Issue: 7
  • Pagination: 832-834