Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Vaccination at Birth Leads to Full Set of Childhood Shots

By
WebMD Health News

Nov. 9, 1999 (Seattle) -- Hospitals can greatly increase the chance that inner-city children will receive all of their childhood vaccinations by providing the first one shortly after birth, according to a study in the Nov. 10 Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Children in the inner city have very low immunization rates," Diane Lauderdale, PhD, an author of the study, tells WebMD. Lauderdale, an epidemiologist at the University of Chicago, says, "I think this may help us improve those rates."

She led a team of researchers who studied over 1,100 children born to residents of the Robert Taylor Housing Development, a public housing project in Chicago. The researchers found that those who received a hepatitis B vaccination shortly after birth were much more likely than other children to receive all their vaccinations on time.

"What we hypothesize is that there is an education component in receiving the first dose in the hospital," she says. That's because hospitals usually have staff members who explain to new mothers not only the reason for the hepatitis B vaccine, but also why children need vaccines for a range of other diseases, ranging from tetanus to diphtheria.

The researchers focused on hepatitis B because it was added to the list of recommended childhood vaccines in 1991. That year, a small number of children born in the housing project were vaccinated for the disease, which is easily passed from mother to infant and can cause fatal liver disease. By 1995, more than half of the children born in the housing development were being vaccinated.

But Lauderdale says the study's most surprising finding was that more than 70% of children who got their first hepatitis B vaccination at birth went on to get all three doses needed to fully protect them. That compares with about half of infants who got their first vaccination when they were between 1 and 3 months old, and around 10% of infants first vaccinated when they were even older.

Similarly, 60% of children vaccinated for hepatitis B at birth received their first vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) on schedule, compared with approximately 36% of other children.

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
 
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?
 

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
Article
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Slideshow
 
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Article
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids
Video
 

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
Video
gloved hand holding syringe
Article
 
infant receiving injection
Tool
pills
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections