Aids Weekly Plus
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has recommended that US hospitals and birthing centers administer the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before discharge. Hospital administration of hepatitis B immunization protects infants from acquiring the virus from a hepatitis B-infected mother, family member, or caregiver.
CDC’s National Immunization Survey data from 2011 indicated that approximately one in three US newborns left the hospital without receiving the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine, and the birth dose varied from state to state. To assist hospitals and birthing centers in establishing policies, procedures, and standardized administration orders for hepatitis B vaccine, IAC supplied a guidebook that defined best practices for newborn hepatitis B immunization. The guidebook also included educational materials for parents and hospital staff and background information.
IAC members include the American Academy of Family Practitioners, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The guidebook “Hepatitis B: What Hospitals Need to Do to Protect Newborns,” is available online at www.immunize.org/protect-newborns/guide/.