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Hepatitis B Birth Dose: First Shot at Timely Early Childhood Vaccination

      Introduction

      Current U.S. recommendations state that newborns weighing ≥2,000 grams should receive a birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine, yet approximately one quarter do not receive this first dose as scheduled. The relationship between timely receipt of the first hepatitis B vaccine and other early childhood vaccines remains unclear.

      Methods

      Washington State newborns (birth weight ≥2,000 grams) who received birth hospitalization care at an urban academic medical center between 2008 and 2013 were included. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess whether hepatitis B vaccine receipt during the birth hospitalization was associated with completing the seven-vaccine series by 19 months, adjusting for select sociodemographic, clinical, and birth hospitalization characteristics. Analyses were conducted in 2017–2018.

      Results

      Of the 9,080 study participants, 75.5% received hepatitis B vaccine during the birth hospitalization, and 53.6% completed the seven-vaccine series by 19 months. Overall, 60.0% of infants vaccinated against hepatitis B during the birth hospitalization completed the seven-vaccine series by 19 months compared with 33.8% of those who were unvaccinated at discharge (p<0.001). The odds of series completion were nearly 3 times higher among infants who received versus did not receive hepatitis B vaccine during the birth hospitalization (AOR=2.92, 95% CI=2.61, 3.26).

      Conclusions

      Infants who received hepatitis B vaccine during their birth hospitalization had higher odds of receiving all recommended vaccines by 19 months independent of other factors associated with vaccine receipt. Understanding the factors that influence this first parental vaccine decision and how hepatitis B vaccine delay or declination may affect subsequent vaccination requires further research.
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