Hepatitis B and the Opioid Epidemic: Opportunities to Increase Adult Vaccination – Webinar Resources

Background:

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.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. To highlight the need to address Hep B within the opioid epidemic, including a national adult Hepatitis B vaccination campaign
  2. To increase awareness amongst patients and providers about the adult Hepatitis B vaccine
  3. To promote opportunities that increase adult Hepatitis B vaccination rates within a community health center setting

Intended Audience:

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.

Speakers: 

  • Rita Kuwahara, MD, MIH, Hepatitis B Policy Fellow and Internal Medicine Resident, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
  • Camilla S. Graham, MD, MPH, Co-Director, Viral Hepatitis Clinic; Division of Infectious Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center & Medical Director, Program RISE
  • Grace Wang, MD, MPH, Family Physician, International Community Health Services

Webinar Resources: