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Commun Dis Public Health. 2002 Dec;5(4):324-6.

Comparison of conventional and accelerated hepatitis B immunisation schedules for homeless drug users.

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NFA Health Centre for Homeless People, 68 York Street, Leeds LS9 8AA.


This historical control study examines the uptake of two hepatitis B immunisation schedules at an inner city primary care centre for homeless people in Northern England. Originally homeless patients disclosing current or past illicit drug use were offered hepatitis B immunisation. In 1999 a conventional hepatitis B vaccine schedule was offered (immunisations at 0, 1, and 6 months) whereas in 2000 an accelerated schedule was introduced (immunisations at 0, 7 and 21 days). There was an increase in the uptake of hepatitis B vaccination by homeless drug users once the accelerated schedule was introduced. Furthermore, the completion rates for the accelerated vaccination regimen were almost seven times higher than for the conventional one. This indicates that the accelerated hepatitis B schedule should be the regime of choice for patients with a current or past history of drug use.

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