Follow-up lacking for babies after hepatitis B vaccination: CDC

September 27, 2012
Follow-up lacking for babies after hepatitis B vaccination: CDC
Testing needs to ensure vaccine blocked mother-to-child transmission of virus.

(HealthDay)—Many U.S. babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B do not receive recommended follow-up testing after vaccination, a new study finds.

About 25,000 infants are born to hepatitis B-infected mothers each year in the United States, according to background information in the study. Without vaccination, 40 to 90 percent of those infants would become infected. Up to 90 percent of those who contracted the virus would develop chronic infection and possibly die from cirrhosis or .

Infants born to mothers infected with hepatitis B should receive the hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of birth, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends. Infants should complete the three-dose hepatitis B series, which is up to 95 percent effective in preventing infections.

Between ages 9 months and 18 months, these infants should also receive post-vaccination blood testing to ensure they did not become infected and are protected, the committee advises. The virus is usually not detected until complications develop.

The study, by Ruthie Benson of the Texas Department of State Health Services and colleagues, is published in the Sept. 28 issue of the U.S. 's .

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the Enhanced Perinatal Hepatitis B Case Management Projects. They found that more than 80 percent of infants received recommended vaccinations but only 64 percent also received recommended follow-up testing.

Of those infants, 93 percent were protected from hepatitis B infection, 1 percent became infected and 3 percent were still susceptible to infection. Susceptible infants can be revaccinated and retested.

Timely post-vaccination is critical to protect infants against hepatitis B infection and to monitor progress toward eliminating the transmission of from mothers to infants, the researchers concluded.

Explore further: Hepatitis B vaccination for health care students lags behind recommendations

More information: The Hepatitis B Foundation has more about hepatitis B and pregnancy.


Related Stories

Hepatitis B and liver cancer among Asian Americans

June 21, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Liver cancer is expected to become more common in the United States in coming years.  “It’s deadly and it’s preventable,” says UCSF physician and researcher Tung Nguyen, MD.

Recommended for you

Ebola linked to habitat destruction

February 20, 2017

A Massey University veterinary scientist has co-authored research suggesting that Ebola virus emergence is linked to the clearing of animal habitat through deforestation in West and Central Africa.

New study determines how long Zika remains in body fluids

February 20, 2017

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides evidence that the Zika virus particles remain longer in blood than in urine and some other body fluids. This information suggests that blood serum may be the ...

Researcher helps stem the spread of superbugs

February 20, 2017

Katherine Baker feels vindicated. She and other microbiologists have been warning for years that anti-bacterial soaps containing triclosan are bad for the environment, harmful for health, and do nothing to prevent disease.

Scientists uncover how Zika virus causes microcephaly

February 17, 2017

A multidisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development. These findings are detailed in Stem Cell Reports.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.