Immunization Program

Hepatitis B Birth Dose Rate


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Story Behind the Curve

The birth dose of hepatitis B protects infants from acquiring hepatitis B through contact with an infected mother, household member, or caregiver. Infants and young children are at the greatest risk of developing chronic hepatitis; 90% of infants infected with Hepatitis B will remain chronically infected. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine be administered within 24 hours of birth for every newborn in the United States.

CT immunization information system data were used to determine the percentage of newborns that were administered hepatitis B vaccine prior to hospital discharge. During 2016-2017 several hospitals experienced significant drops in their hepatitis B birth dose rates due to data quality issues related to the introduction of the new facility worksheet for the state vital record system (ConnVRS). DPH Immunization Program and Vital Records staff worked with hospital birth registrars to address these issues.  Note - The estimates for 2021 measures the percentage who had hepatitis B vaccine administered by the end of the first full day after birth. 

These data are current as of Feb 2023.


DPH Immunization Partners

Government: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CT Department of Social Services/Community Health Network (CHN), CT Department of Children and Families, CT Local Health Departments/Districts, Tribal Governments, Health Departments from other states, Emergency Response and Public Health Preparedness

Organizations and Coalitions: Connecticut Vaccine Advisory Council (CVAC), Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Foundation for Children, CT American Lung Association, American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA), Every Child By Two, Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), American Cancer Society

Business and Industry: Pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines, Immunization Information System (IIS) vendors, electronic health record (EHR) vendors, insurance companies

Health Care: Private and public providers, community health centers, school based health centers, hospitals

Education: Daycares, schools and colleges, Board of Nursing, State Department of Education, Yale School of Public Health

Community Services: CT Department of Social Services, Community Health Network (CHN), Local WIC Offices, tribal services, services for immigrants and refugees, homeless shelters and programs, domestic violence shelters and programs, Hispanic Health Council, Maternal Infant Outreach Program - City of Hartford Health and Human Services (MIOP) , Family Strides, Head Start, Healthy Start, Nurturing Families, Connections, Mom’s Project, Positive Parenting, Project Mother Care, Reach out and Read, Birth to Three, libraries, churches, Community Health Center Family Wellness Center/New Britain, Weston Women’s League, Human Resources Agency of New Britain (HRA), Family and Children’s Agency (FCA) of Norwalk, Spanish Speaking Center, United Way

The Public: Parents and the general public

What Works

Universal hepatitis B vaccination of all newborns before discharge acts as a safety net for babies whose mothers were not tested for hepatitis B or whose results were not available at the time of birth.

Universal access to hepatitis B vaccine at no cost to patients to help minimize any financial roadblocks to vaccination that families may encounter.

Hepatitis B Vaccination recommendations for Infants, Children, and Adolescents. MMWR 2005;54(RR-16).


For current year priority strategies and actions, click here (right click to open link).
SHIP Strategies:

Assure costs of vaccines/administration for all ages are covered by all insurers

Maintain and expand access to Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccines for children

Maintain and enhance Connecticut immunization registry, including across lifespan; implement comprehensive reminder/recall systems.

Use new and existing data systems to measure vaccine coverage among populations to identify disparities and target vaccine strategies.

Action Plan

The Perinatal Hepatitis B Coordinator and Immunization Action Plan (IAP) area coordinators encourage a high hepatitis B birth dose via hospital education. They also promote the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll, which hospitals can apply for if their birth dose rate is 90% or greater.

The Connecticut Vaccine Program is Connecticut’s childhood vaccination program. It ensures all children in the state get the vaccinations they need, when they need them, to stay healthy. The state buys vaccine at the lowest possible price through a government contract, and gives the vaccines at no cost to clinics, private doctors, and other health care providers. These providers then vaccinate children without charging patients for the cost of the vaccine (health care providers may still charge an administration fee). Without this program, some insurance companies may not cover the full cost of vaccines, making it too expensive for some families. Hepatitis B vaccine is available to newborns in hospitals and all children 0-18 years of age at no cost through the Connecticut Vaccine Program.

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