Post # 1
First, let me just say that I am not looking to encourage a debate on vaccines in general here. I am very much FOR children getting all their vaccinations. I understand people feel very strongly about that subject and I would hope that everyone can be respectful of each other’s beliefs. This specifically has to do with the new scheduling of the hepatitis b immunization series given to newborns. I have a few questions based on personal experiences. This is mainly just a way for me to decide if its really worth it to get this vaccine right away, or if it can wait…
Personally: Something bothers me alittle about giving this vaccine so young, but I understand the importance of it. My husband on the other hand wants nothing injected into the baby right after birth at all, his objections to this has really got me thinking. I will most likely follow his wishes on this, but I would like to educate myself a little.
1) Did you have your child vaccinated for hep b right after birth and before they left the hospital? If so, what side effects did you notice if any? Are you happy with your decision to start this vaccine series at such an early age? Do you feel it helped you to keep up on the immunization schedule better?
2) If you declined the vaccination….how long did you delay it for? What schedule did you use? How supportive was your medical provider in regards to this decision? Are you happy with your decision and why?
3) What sources did you use to make your decision?
Post # 3
As far as I know, most major organizations (CDC in the US, Health Canada etc) recommend Hepatitis B for newborns only if their mother is Hep B positive or if a member of the household (ie. sibling or primary care giver) is Hep B positive.
Given the routes of transmission (bodily fluids), it’s highly unlikely that small children would be at a high risk, but exposed children are the most likely to have serious long-term consequences if they are infected so young so that’s the major arguement to vaccinate at a young age.
ETA: sorry I didn’t answer any of your questions LOL. I don’t have children myself but do work in perinatal care for women and newborns.
Post # 4
We did not vaccinate for Hep B at birth. We didn’t want to start vaccinating when he was freshly out of the womb, we wanted to give him a little time to get used to life on “the outside” first.
And the chances LO would be exposed to Hep B that early on are pretty much zero if the mother doesn’t have it. Babies aren’t going to be having sex or sharing needles; which is how Hep B is commonly transmitted.
We were going to hold off on Hep B until a time that LO wasn’t getting so many shots, but then discovered that it’s very hard to find a polio vaccine that’s preservative free (polio is grouped with Hep B and DTap in a combo shot called Pediarix; you can get DTap and Hep B preservative-free seperately, but very hard to find the preservative-free polio seperate). So after discovering that, we decided to go ahead and do Hep B.
We are splitting up shots so LO doesn’t get them all in 1 visit. For his 2-month shots, we got Rotovirus, Hib, and Pneumococcal at one visit, then Pediarix (Polio, Hep B, DTap) at another visit 2 weeks later.
If you vaccinate for Hep B at birth, your baby ends up getting 4 shots of it instead of 3 because Hep B is done in combo vaccines. Having an extra dose is considered okay by the CDC.
Post # 5
Thank you! I will probably end up holding off on that vaccine and spacing the vaccines out some….
From my understanding it is now universal that all babies are recommended to get it at birth, but from what I read (unless your household has certain risk factors) there wasn’t really any explanation that satisfied the need to get it right away. I did not even know about this until a cousin mentioned it after giving birth to her LO and her having to refuse the vaccine.
Post # 6
I used to work as a nursery nurse and here in Iowa our hep b is only hep b, not a combo vaccine.
On that note, I find no reason to vaccinate with hep b at such a young age. 🙂
Post # 7
@jasonashley – Yeah, my pediatrician had single-vial preservative-free Hep B seperate as an option, as well as preservative-free DTap as a seperate option. The problem was the polio vaccine. I couldn’t find anywhere that had polio vaccine as single-vial preservative-free; polio was only available alone containing preservatives, the only preservative-free polio is in combo shots. So I decided I’d rather go ahead and get the Hep-B done instead of getting the polio vaccine with preservatives.
Post # 8
I didn’t vote in the poll because I do not have children yet but I just finished my maternity clinical for nursing school. I gave the newborns the vaccines (both Hep.B and Vit.K). I would check with your insurance company-I know this may sound silly & not very sensitive but some of the patients I was caring for stated that their insurance wouldn’t pay for the vaccine day of but would at the first doctor’s appointment (or vice versa). I can also say that the newborns didn’t seem to be bothered by it too much.
Straight from my maternity text published 2010– “HepB vaccination is recommended for all infants […] for HB-negative women the first dose of the vaccine may be given at birth or at 1 month of age”
All in all it is your decision to give the vaccine at birth or at the checkup. And in case you didn’t know the Vit.K injection is to help prevent bleeding–they’ll ask you to sign off on this injection as well if you want to research it 🙂
Good luck in your decision and congrats on the coming addition to your family!
Post # 9
Thank you, I wasn’t aware of a Vit K injection.