The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its recommendations regarding the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine schedule for newborns.
According to the AAP News story, “Infants who weigh at least 2,000 grams (g) should receive their first dose of hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine within the first 24 hours of life, according to a new AAP policy. The recommendation aligns with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).”
The AAP previously recommended that newborns be given a dose of the HepB vaccine at birth, but ambiguous language allowed for delays in the dose.
The AAP News story also states, “The number of new cases of HepB infection has decreased by more than 90% since the introduction of hepatitis B immunization in 1982. Unfortunately, about 1,000 U.S. infants acquire HepB perinatally each year. These infants face up to a 90% chance of chronic HepB infection. If untreated, about 25% will die of hepatocellular carcinoma or liver cirrhosis.”
Pediatrics Northwest strongly supports vaccination, and our providers are happy to talk to you about any questions and concerns you may have.