Hepatitis B vaccination coverage among foreign-born Canadians: data from the community health measures survey

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Gunaratna, Hasantha
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Hepatitis B (HB) is vaccine-preventable but remains a leading cause of liver disease worldwide. Since the 1980s, Canadians have received HB vaccination through publicly-funded programs in childhood however 20-25% of Canadians are foreign-born (FB) and may experience barriers to vaccine uptake. This study assesses differences in HB vaccine coverage between FB and Canadian-born (CB) individuals using Statistics Canada’s Canadian Health Measures Survey data. The three-year (2007-2011) vaccination coverage among FB Canadians was estimated at 38%, which was significantly lower than the estimate rate for CB sub-population (49%). After adjustment for covariates, immigration status remained a significant predictor of vaccination. Furthermore, the effect of immigration status on vaccination status was modified by birth era such that the relative difference in vaccination coverage was greater among those born in the era of childhood HB vaccination programs (1980s and after) compared to older Canadians. Opportunities for education on the availability of HB vaccination may benefit new Canadians.
Hepatitis B, Vaccination, Community Health Measures Survey