An accelerated hepatitis B vaccination schedule for young drug users


Dr Dan Lubman, ORYGEN Research Centre, Locked Bag 10, Parkville, Victoria 3052. Fax: (03) 9342 2941; e-mail:


Objective: Jo determine completion rates for an accelerated hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) program among a population of young drug users.

Design: Between January 2001 and May 2002, a three-dose course of HBV vaccine (0, 7 and 21 days) was offered free to all drug users (aged 22 years or younger) accessing two outreach sites of a youth-focused support and drug treatment service in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Clients were offered vaccination in any safe environment of their choice. An audit was conducted on the health records of participating clients.

Main outcome measures: Number of completed vaccinations; settings in which vaccinations were completed.

Results: Ninety young people accepted vaccination, with 71% completing the full course. The majority preferred to receive vaccination at drug treatment outreach sites (53%).

Conclusions: An accelerated vaccination schedule appears acceptable to young drug users, suggesting that vaccination programs can be successful when barriers to immunisation are appropriately identified and addressed.