TORONTO – Infants who do not receive the hepatitis B vaccine birth dose are less likely to be up-to-date recipients of recommended vaccines by 19 months, based on results from a retrospective study of more than 9,000 infants.
“As pediatricians, we should be mindful of that when we are meeting families after the birth hospitalization and start a conversation at that point around vaccines,” one of the study authors,, said in an interview at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.
Of the 9,080 infants, 51% were male, 49% were non-Hispanic white, 56% were covered by public health insurance, and 47% stayed in the hospital for 48 hours or longer. The researchers reported that 76% infants received the HBV during the birth hospitalization, and 54% of subjects completed the seven-vaccine series by age 19 months. They also found that
“Parents are making their first vaccine decision during that birth hospitalization,” said Dr. Hofstetter, who also conducts immunization research studies at . “It’s unclear what underlies this decision, such as specific parent concerns or the way in which we as providers in the hospital are communicating vaccine information to the families. It’s telling, and it will be interesting to further explore the factors that are determining whether a family gets the vaccine during the birth hospitalization or not, and how we as a pediatric community can start having effective vaccine conversations earlier.”
She acknowledged certain limitations of the study, including the potential for misclassification errors in vaccine reporting systems and the fact that no data were available on parental attitudes about vaccination. The researchers reported having no financial disclosures.