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Yet another vaccine (just in case your baby shoots up drugs or becomes sexually active).

When the vaccine for the liver disease hepatitis B was developed ten years ago, Center for Disease Control officials targetted high-risk groups, since the disease is spread via blood and other body fluids such as semen. At risk are intravenous drug users, health care workers, infants of infected mothers, and anyone who has had more than two sexual partners in the last six months.

Since this policy was ineffective and there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of cases since 1982, guidelines by the CDC and the Academy of Pediatrics now call for every newborn in the US to receive a hepatitis B vaccination, followed by one booster at approximately 1 to 2 months of age and another sometimes between 6 and 18 months. Doctors are also being advised to immunize older infants and adolescents.

More than 90 percent of health maintenance organizations and half the private insurance plans have agreed to cover the immunizations, which cost about $40 for the series of three immunizations ($7 plus administrative costs for public health departments).
COPYRIGHT 1992 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:hepatitis B vaccine recommended for newborns
Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Jun 22, 1992
Words:176
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