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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-15

Vaccination of healthcare workers in Nigeria: A review of barriers, policies and level of implementation

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo City, Ondo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex, Ondo City, Ondo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Olorunfemi Akinbode Ogundele
Department of Community Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo City, Ondo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_4_20

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Health-care workers (HCWs) constitute a high-risk group frequently exposed to workplace hazards from contacts with infected body fluids. The World Health Organization recommends that high-risk groups, which include HCWs, be vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases considering their exposure risks. This review provides insight into vaccination coverage rates and barriers of vaccination of HCWs against vaccine-preventable diseases, especially hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination currently in place in Nigeria and provides recommendations for policy creation. A narrative review of peer-reviewed published original research, reports, and reviews was done after identifying relevant literature using Goggle Scholar as the major search engine. Peer-reviewed articles in databases such as PubMed, Medline, African Journals Online, and Google Scholar were reviewed. Nigeria, like many other countries in sub-Sahara Africa, has no clear policy on vaccination of HCWs against vaccine-preventable diseases; this constitutes a significant challenge that contributes to poor uptake of vaccination by HCWs. HBV is a major occupational health hazard that HCWs face in the course of their work. HCWs, in Nigeria, are at increased risk of hepatitis B infection because Nigeria is a holoendemic area. Lack of vaccination policy for HCWs, poor risk perception, cost of the vaccine, and unavailability of vaccine are some of the major barriers to vaccine uptake and coverage among HCWs. There is a need to create and appropriately implement policies explicitly meant for HCWs vaccination. Model program options that can be adopted across health institutions at an affordable cost are recommended.

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