, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 278–281

Hepatitis B Vaccination Coverage in Belgian Health Care Workers

  • R. Vranckx
  • P. Jacques*
  • A. De Schrijver
  • G. Moens
Clinical and Epidemiological Study

DOI: 10.1007/s15010-004-2204-3

Cite this article as:
Vranckx, R., Jacques*, P., De Schrijver, A. et al. Infection (2004) 32: 278. doi:10.1007/s15010-004-2204-3



The hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination policy for health care workers (HCW) started in Belgium in 1983. An update of vaccination coverage and rates of seroconversion and seroprotection among HCW can give an insight into the actual status and encourage further development of vaccination programs.

Patients and Methods:

5,064 HCW were tested for anti-HBs. We considered those who had a positive anti-HBs test as seroconverted (SC) and those who had an anti-HBs titer > 10 IU/l as seroprotected (SP).


4,771 HCW were eligible for vaccination; 84.9% of them were effectively vaccinated. Among high-risk professions (nurses, care and laboratory workers), 94.79% were vaccinated; for other professions the vaccination coverage was 69.26%. Of the 1,015 non-vaccinated persons, 293 were anti-HBs positive. Among these 54.95% declared they had had a previous hepatitis infection that was serologically proven to be HBV (anti-HBc positive). Of the remaining 132 positives, 70.45% had previously undergone surgery and/or transfusion. Among these 1,015 non-vaccinated HCW, 59.03% were anti-HBs positive. Of these, 373 were nurses, care or laboratory workers. This contrasts with the results for HCW in other sectors, where 11.49% were anti-HBs positive.


In our sample, high vaccination, seroconversion and seroprotection rates were achieved, at least for higher risk HCW. The same conclusion can be drawn if we consider hospital departments which carry a higher risk of bloodborne infections.

Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel Medien und Medizin Verlagsgesellschaft 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Vranckx
    • 1
  • P. Jacques*
    • 2
  • A. De Schrijver
    • 3
  • G. Moens
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Public HealthBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.IDEWE Occupational Health Services, and University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.IDEWE Occupational Health Services, Leuven and University of GentGentBelgium

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