, Volume 50, Issue 8, pp 1525-1531

Immunization Needs of Chronic Liver Disease Patients Seen in Primary Care Versus Specialist Settings

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Chronic liver disease patients may benefit from certain vaccines, but their immunization coverage levels have not been widely studied. We examined the serologic and vaccination status of 693 chronic liver disease patients from 37 primary care and specialist centers. Patients in primary care had more often received influenza (47 versus 32%; P < .001) and pneumococcal (39 versus 19%; P < .001) vaccines. Among patients without documented prior exposure, those seeing specialists had more often completed hepatitis A (28 versus 5%; P < .001) and hepatitis B (29 versus 14%; P < .001) vaccination. Coverage was higher in centers with a policy of vaccinating on-site, among non-Hispanic whites, and among patients with hepatitis C and cirrhosis. In summary, most patients were unprotected against one or more vaccine preventable diseases. The higher coverage rates evident in centers vaccinating on-site suggests a breakdown may occur when patients are referred to alternative vaccination venues.