After a temporary suspension of hepatitis B vaccination (HBV) for low-risk newborns in July 1999, some hospitals still do not offer HBV to these infants. A semi-structured telephone survey of medical directors from a national random sample of 296 hospital nurseries was completed from August 2000 to April 2001 and analyzed using qualitative techniques. Directors of 201 of 290 eligible nurseries (71%) participated. Twenty-eight nurseries have never offered HBV to low-risk newborns ("Never Offered HBV") and 37 nurseries had offered HBV to low-risk newborns before July 1999, but discontinued this practice after the temporary suspension ("Discontinued HBV"). Common reasons for not offering HBV to low-risk newborns were difficulty with reimbursement and convenience of outpatient administration. In addition, directors of "Never Offered HBV" nurseries cited low disease incidence in their patient population, whereas directors of "Discontinued HBV" cited preference for the combination hepatitis B-Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine as important factors. Multi-faceted interventions may be necessary to increase HBV use in the nursery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health