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Rabies preexposure vaccination among veterinarians and at-risk staff

Rosalie T. Trevejo DVM, MPVM1,2
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  • 1 Sonoma County Department of Health Services, 3313 Chanate Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
  • | 2 Present address is California Department of Health Services, Division of Communicable Disease Control, Room 708, 2151 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.

Abstract

Objective—To measure rabies preexposure vaccination rate and identify factors potentially associated with lack of vaccination among veterinarians and atrisk staff.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Study Population—At-risk veterinary medical association (VMA) members, their staff members, and animal shelter and wildlife rehabilitation center personnel located in a California county.

Procedure—A questionnaire was mailed to VMA members and managers of animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centers. Respondents were requested to provide data on vaccination history and potential factors associated with vaccination status for themselves and their at-risk staff members. Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals were compared by use of univariate and logistic regression analyses to identify factors associated with vaccination status.

Results—Fifty-eight percent (79/137) of persons who received questionnaires responded; 74 were eligible for the study. Respondents provided data for 47.6% (219/460) of their staff members. The vaccination rate was greater among respondents (85.1%) than among their staff members (17.5%). Among staff members, age and duration of employment were significantly associated with vaccination status.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A large proportion of at-risk staff members working in veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and wildlife rehabilitation centers in the study area did not receive rabies preexposure vaccination per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's published recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The cost of the preexposure vaccine series may be a barrier, particularly for young employees who are commonly short-term, part-time, or volunteer workers. Efforts are needed to increase awareness of the ACIP recommendations and to increase access to vaccination through agencies such as public health clinics. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1707–1710)

Abstract

Objective—To measure rabies preexposure vaccination rate and identify factors potentially associated with lack of vaccination among veterinarians and atrisk staff.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Study Population—At-risk veterinary medical association (VMA) members, their staff members, and animal shelter and wildlife rehabilitation center personnel located in a California county.

Procedure—A questionnaire was mailed to VMA members and managers of animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centers. Respondents were requested to provide data on vaccination history and potential factors associated with vaccination status for themselves and their at-risk staff members. Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals were compared by use of univariate and logistic regression analyses to identify factors associated with vaccination status.

Results—Fifty-eight percent (79/137) of persons who received questionnaires responded; 74 were eligible for the study. Respondents provided data for 47.6% (219/460) of their staff members. The vaccination rate was greater among respondents (85.1%) than among their staff members (17.5%). Among staff members, age and duration of employment were significantly associated with vaccination status.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A large proportion of at-risk staff members working in veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and wildlife rehabilitation centers in the study area did not receive rabies preexposure vaccination per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's published recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The cost of the preexposure vaccine series may be a barrier, particularly for young employees who are commonly short-term, part-time, or volunteer workers. Efforts are needed to increase awareness of the ACIP recommendations and to increase access to vaccination through agencies such as public health clinics. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1707–1710)