Infectious Disease Protection Unit

Berlin, Germany

Infectious Disease Protection Unit

Berlin, Germany
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Koch J.,Robert Koch Institute | Hellenbrand W.,Robert Koch Institute | Schink S.,Robert Koch Institute | Wichmann O.,Robert Koch Institute | And 6 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2016

Meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) vaccination of men who have sex with men (MSM) was temporarily recom-mended to control an outbreak of invasive MenC disease among MSM in Berlin in 2012-2013. Vaccination was offered to HIV-infected MSM free of charge; others had to request reimbursement or pay out of pocket. We aimed to assess (i) awareness and acceptance of this recommendation through an online survey of MSM, (ii) implementation through a survey of primary care physicians and analysis of vaccine prescriptions, and (iii) impact through analysis of notified cases. Among online survey respondents, 60% were aware of the recommendation. Of these, 39% had obtained vaccination (70% of HIV-infected, 13% of HIV-negative/non-tested MSM). Awareness of recommendation and vaccination were positively associated with HIV infection, primary care physicians’ awareness of respondents’ sexual orientation, and exposure to multiple information sources. Most (26/30) physicians informed clients about the recommendation. Physicians considered concerns regarding reimbursement, vaccine safety and lack of perceived disease risk as primary barriers. After the recommendation, no further outbreak-related cases occurred. To reach and motivate target groups, communication of a new outbreak-related vaccination recommendation should address potential concerns through as many information channels as possible and direct reimbursement of costs should be enabled. © 2016, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.

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