9:00 am HT | 12:00pm PT | 2:00pm CT | 3:00pm ET
Time duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes
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.
1. To highlight the need to address Hep B within the opioid epidemic, including a national adult Hepatitis B vaccination campaign
2. To promote opportunities that increase adult Hepatitis B vaccination rates within a community health center setting
3. To increase awareness amongst patients and providers about the adult Hepatitis B vaccine
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.