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Barriers to hepatitis A vaccination in homeless populations: a narrative literature review

Elil, Jennifer (2019) Barriers to hepatitis A vaccination in homeless populations: a narrative literature review. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, among other major American cities, is seeing a sharp rise in Hepatitis A cases. Although it is vaccine preventable, hepatitis A is also a highly contagious disease that can be debilitating to an individual since it has no treatment. High-risk populations that face a greater risk to being exposed to the virus include people that are homeless, have a history of drug use, have a history of incarceration, and men that have sex with men. Targeting these communities where hepatitis A already has high prevalence rates should be a priority when considering vaccination interventions that are created to reduce incidence rates. Past community and clinic interventions for hepatitis A and B have shown that there are numerous barriers to the vaccination of homeless populations. Both access to the vaccine and individual factors can greatly influence whether a person chooses to complete a vaccination series or not. While vaccine access can be addressed simply by the availability of serum and implementation of vaccination programs in areas that are easily reachable, there are more significant individual predictors such as ethnicity, level of social support, and knowledge about hepatitis A disease. Providing resources that offer greater social support can increase one’s desire to get vaccinated, in addition to implementing educational programs that teach the public about the dangers of hepatitis A disease, the best prevention methods, and the importance of vaccination. Furthermore, re-educating healthcare providers can increase medical and legislative support for these interventions, aiding influential policy and funding as well. It is important to examine all of these varying predictors to vaccination compliance, present on both systemic and individual levels, in order to inform future vaccination strategies on how to address these different types of barriers. Creating effective vaccination programs for homeless communities in areas in which hepatitis A is highly prevalent is crucial in stemming an epidemic before it reaches dangerous proportions. These methods should be applied to future community efforts to address the new hepatitis A outbreak in Pittsburgh, ensuring a significant decrease in the spread of the disease within vulnerable populations and alleviating this public health issue.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Elil, Jenniferjee53@pitt.edujee53
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGlynn, Nancyglynnn@edc.pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberMartinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberTatar, Ninatatarj@umpc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 20 June 2019
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 52
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Other ID:
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 21:40
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 05:15


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