Hepatitis B vaccination of newborns needs to become more common
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 18, 2008
Slightly more than half of infants are vaccinated against hepatitis B by the third day of life. To increase these rates, hospitals should routinely provide this shot before a newborn heads home, according to a paper published in the Aug. 1 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices first recommended in 1991 that this shot be given by the age of two months, but emphasis has been shifting to encourage earlier administration. In December 2005, the ACIP called for all medically stable newborns weighing at least 4.4 pounds to receive this shot before leaving the hospital.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/08/18/hlbf0818.htm.