New indication for an old vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory committee on Immunization Practices (the organization that tells us doctors when, why, and which vaccines) is now recommending hepatitis B vaccine series to unvaccinated adults less than 60 years old with diabetes.
In a study with 91,000 adults it was found that those with diabetes have a nearly two-fold increased risk of hepatitis B infection. Inadequately cleaned blood glucose monitors were identified as the most likely source of infection spread: glucose-monitor sharing in households, work site health clinics, schools, and diabetes camps.
Take home points:
- Know there are risks in sharing glucose meters even if the glucose strips and lancets are new.
- Call your insurance company to be aware if they will cover (the 3 hepatitis B vaccines) the cost.
Others who need hepatitis B vaccine are
- sexually active with multiple sex partners
- homosexual and bisexual males
- household contacts of those with hepatitis B
- IV drug users
- healthcare workers
- patients on chronic hemodialysis or receiving blood products (like with hemophilia)
- chronic liver disease
- all unvaccinated persons in areas of “intermediate to high levels” of endemic hepatitis B infection
Hope this helps.