Background Health care workers (HCWs) are at high risk for acquiring hepatitis B virus infection because of needle stick injury (NSI) and occupational exposures to potentially infectious bodily fluids. Hepatitis B vaccination confers protection against the infection. Very little information is available in India about current vaccination status and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) practices among HCWs. Objectives This study had 2 objectives. The first was to characterize current vaccination coverage among HCWs, and the second was to define PEP practices among HCWs after NSI and exposures to potentially infectious bodily fluids. Methods A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in hospitals attached to Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. We selected 297 individuals. A pretested, semistructured questionnaire was devised to collect information from study participants. After obtaining permission from the Institutional Ethics Committee, data were collected by interviewing HCWs in the hospitals. Analysis was done using SPSS. Findings Nearly all (93.8%) of the HCWs surveyed had taken 1 dose of hepatitis B vaccine. However, only 57.1% completed the primary series of 3 doses and only 26.4% had taken 1 or more booster doses. Of the HCWs questioned, 24.8% had experienced NSIs, exposure to potentially infectious bodily fluids, or both. Local measures were the PEP practices most commonly used (85.5%) by the HCWs. Conclusion The present study demonstrated that there is a need in Mangalore to improve the vaccination coverage and train HCWs in appropriate PEP practices. This will protect the workers from acquiring hepatitis B infection.
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