Hepatitis B and the Opioid Epidemic: Opportunities to Increase Adult Vaccination – Webinar Resources
Recent outbreaks of hepatitis B have been linked to the opioid epidemic through injection drug use (CDC, 2018). In the U.S., there have been high rates of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among special and vulnerable populations, including Asian Americans (AAs), Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs).
Despite the availability of a highly effective vaccine, barriers to preventing hepatitis B infection in the U.S. remain. These barriers include low rates of hepatitis B vaccination coverage among adults and increased rates of injection drug use – a major risk factor for hepatitis B – as the opioid epidemic continues. To prevent and eliminate hepatitis B as a public health threat, strategies to promote testing, vaccination, and linkage to care, particularly among special and vulnerable populations, must be implemented. Additionally, there is a need to raise awareness about the seriousness of hepatitis B and its deadly link to cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.
Health center staff from clinical & non-clinical perspectives and from all levels of leadership; Primary Care Associations; and Health Center Controlled Networks. Other key stakeholders include government institutions and payers who work with health centers on policy and payment.