Issue 1067: July 18, 2013Please Help Give Birth to the End of Hep B!
With this week’s launch of our initiative urging the nation’s birthing institutions to Give birth to the end of Hep B, IAC is asking all of its partners to get involved in promoting the hepatitis B vaccine birth dose.
Experts agree that hepatitis B can be eliminated in the U.S. and that preventing the transmission of the virus at birth is fundamental to this effort.
Yet, despite expert consensus, nearly one in three U.S. newborns leaves the hospital unvaccinated against hepatitis B. As a result, approximately 800 U.S. newborns become chronically infected each year because of perinatal exposure. These newborns would be afforded a “safety net” if a birth dose were universally administered before hospital discharge.
We have created a new website section that provides complete information and resources about the birth dose at www.immunize.org/protect-newborns.
Two New Resources from IAC
In addition to increasing awareness about the need for the hepatitis B birth dose, the initiative offers tools to help birthing institutions adopt or strengthen their birth dose policies.
The centerpiece of this supportive effort is IAC’s new, comprehensive guidebook, Hepatitis B: What Hospitals Need to Do to Protect Newborns. Endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the guide contains a wide range of resources to help birthing institutions establish, implement, and optimize their hepatitis B birth dose policies.
Visit www.immunize.org/protect-newborns/guide to view the guidebook’s table of contents and download some or all of its sections.
Complementing the guidebook is our new Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll, which recognizes birthing institutions that have attained a birth dose coverage rate of 90% or greater and have met specific additional criteria. These criteria help define the important elements of a birth dose policy that are needed to ensure newborns do not fall through the cracks when medical errors occur.
In achieving a 99% coverage rate, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, became the first birth dose champion to be inducted into the honor roll at the initiative's July 16 launch event in Albany, New York.
The launch event also included a nationally broadcast webinar with speakers from CDC, IAC, New York State Department of Health, and Albany Medical Center. The 45-minute webinar is available online.
For information about the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll and how you can apply, visit www.immunize.org/honor-roll/birthdose.
Please Get On Board
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. What better time to join the cause, and help Give birth to the end of Hep B?
Here’s what you can do:
With your partnership, we will Give birth to the end of Hep B!
IZ Express is supported in part by Grant No. 1NH23IP922654 from CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Its contents are solely the responsibility of Immunize.org and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.
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Editor-in-ChiefKelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
Managing EditorJohn D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD
Associate EditorSharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH
Writer/Publication CoordinatorTaryn Chapman, MS
Courtnay Londo, MA
Style and Copy EditorMarian Deegan, JD
Web Edition ManagersArkady Shakhnovich
Contributing WriterLaurel H. Wood, MPA
Technical ReviewerKayla Ohlde