A postal survey of 730 Malaysian dental practitioners was undertaken to assess their awareness and acceptance of the plasma derived hepatitis B vaccine. Only 32% of the 325 practitioners who responded had been vaccinated, 41% intended to be and 15% categorically refused vaccination. The main reservations about vaccine acceptance were fear of side effects including AIDS, cost of the vaccine and lack of information. Vaccine efficacy was not confirmed by serology in two-thirds of the vaccinees and two-fifths of the respondents were unaware that 5% of the vaccinees do not develop a successful antibody response after vaccination. Seventy-eight percent of dentists believed that their risk of contracting hepatitis B was high or very high while 71% recalled having received needle stick injuries in the 3 yr prior to the survey. Only 13% of respondents were aware of delta hepatitis while 63% were aware of non-A non-B hepatitis. The survey has highlighted the need for dissemination of information on hepatitis B vaccine among dentists in Malayasia.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.