All countries should offer universal infant immunization for hepatitis B
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All countries should offer universal infant immunization for hepatitis B, write Dr. Christopher Mackie from McMaster University and coauthors in a public health analysis in CMAJ.
Epidemiological studies suggest that roughly one-third of chronic hepatitis B infections are acquired during infancy and early childhood.
In Canada, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are the only provinces to offer universal hepatitis B vaccination to infants. The incidence of acute hepatitis B in BC is now consistently below the national average, after years of having a higher incidence rate. Globally, 98% of universal hepatitis B immunization programs are offered in infancy.
While vaccination for adolescents offers protection, booster shots are unnecessary for those who were immunized as babies.
“The few jurisdictions that continue to offer universal immunization in adolescence rather than infancy should consider changing to an infant program,” write the authors. They advocate adequate national immunization registries and surveillance systems to monitor vaccine strategies.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) have released a joint statement on the importance of adult vaccination against an increasing number of vaccine-preventable diseases. The statement has been endorsed by 17 other medical societies representing a range of practice areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control
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A booster vaccination for parents of new babies and other household members may be the most effective way of preventing the fatal form of whooping cough in young infants, say a group of paediatric intensive care doctors on bmj.com. Whooping cough (pertussis) is a distressing infectious disease which affects infants and young children. Vaccination is
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The United States ranked 29th in the world in infant mortality in 2004, compared to 27th in 2000, 23rd in 1990 and 12th in 1960, according to a new report from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. infant mortality rate was 6.78 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004, the latest
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Individuals younger than 50 who have been previously vaccinated do not appear to have a substantially different immune response to a half-dose of influenza vaccine than to a full dose, according to a report in the December 8/22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. This suggests that half-dose vaccination in healthy young individuals may be
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