Hepatitis B and the Opioid Epidemic: Opportunities to Increase Adult Vaccination
Hosted by Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, a HRSA-funded NCA
Tuesday, July 30
3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
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, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA&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 in the U.S. continues. To prevent and eliminate hepatitis B as a U.S. public health threat, strategies to promote testing, vaccination, and linkage to care – particularly among special and vulnerable populations impacted by the opioid epidemic – must be implemented while raising 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.