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HepB birth dose coverage was higher among children living below the poverty level.
The birth dose also provides protection to infants at risk from household exposure after the perinatal period," the statement indicated.
birth dose plus 2 more doses or incomplete series), unvaccinated, or unknown, based on children's immunization certificates.
For those infants with birth weights less than 2,000 grams, the birth dose is not counted as part of the vaccine series," noted Sarah Schillie, MD, of the CDC's National Center for HIV /AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, who spoke during the ACIP meeting.
The HBV vaccine birth dose without immunoglobulins has an efficacy of at least 70% in preventing HBV infection.
Namibia is moving forward and will introduce a birth dose of Hepatitis B into the routine schedule as well as the Pneumococcal vaccine in 2012," President Hifikepunye Pohamba said in a statement delivered on his behalf at the 3rd Annual Regional Conference for Immunisation (ARCI) which was held recently.
All of these studies support the importance of the birth dose of the HB vaccination and augment the fact that control and eradication of HB with the present EPI schedule is not possible.
With a high vertical transmission, a revision of vaccination schedule with an addition of birth dose of HBV vaccine is suggested.
Levin said that regardless of how long it ultimately turns out that protection against hepatitis B persists after childhood vaccination, it's absolutely necessary that physicians do a better job of making sure neonates get a birth dose of vaccine while they're still in the hospital.
Delaying the vaccination until after hospital discharge should be rare and if the vaccination is not provided before discharge both a physician's order to withhold the birth dose and a copy of the laboratory report indicating that the mother was HBsAg negative should be documented in the infant's medical record.
If mother is HBsAg-negative, the birth dose can only be delayed with physician's order and mothers' negative HBsAg laboratory report documented in the infant's medical record.
Four doses of vaccine may be administered when a birth dose is given.