Background: Hepatitis B infection and resulting health sequela is a worldwide health problem. Adults at increased risk of infection are recommended to receive hepatitis B vaccine for protection, followed by postvaccination titer testing to confirm immunity. The aim of this study is to assess coverage rate and immunologic response to hepatitis B vaccine and factors influencing seroreactivity.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out among medical doctors of Makkah city, medical interns, and medical students of Umm Al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data for evaluation of hepatitis B vaccination coverage, immune status, and associated risk factors.
Results: Three hundred twenty-one (79.9%) out of 402 participants received the vaccination. Of those vaccinated 159 (48.3%) had subsequent testing for anti-HBs. One hundred thirty-nine (87.4%) had an appropriate immunologic response to the vaccine (titer ≥ 10 mIU/mL). Factors negatively influencing seroreactivity were male gender, high BMI, smoking, incomplete vaccination series, vaccination schedule non-adherence, and long elapsed time since last vaccination; with p-values of 0.001, 0.000, 0.002, 0.001, 0.037, and 0.000, respectively.
Conclusions: Hep B vaccination coverage in our study is considered insufficient. Smoking and obesity were modi-fiable and preventable risk factors negatively affecting the immunologic response. The development and enforcement of better health policies aimed at increasing access and coverage of the HBV vaccination of at-risk populations like medical students, with increased awareness, is recommended.