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Underimmunization at discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit

OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study are to determine immunization rates at discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) among infants 2 months of age and above and to evaluate risk factors for underimmunization. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study was performed for infants in six NICUs in the Northern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. Immunization status at discharge was determined for all infants discharged on or after age 60 days. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for underimmunization at the time of discharge. RESULT: Of 668 infants discharged on or after age 60 days from the NICU, 51% were up-to-date for routine immunizations. Twenty-seven percent of infants had received no vaccines. Factors associated with higher immunization rates at discharge include history of mechanical ventilation, congenital heart disease and a diagnosis of apnea or bronchopulmonary dysplasia during the NICU stay, whereas surgery was associated with lower immunization rates. CONCLUSION: A significant proportion of infants discharged on or after 2 months of age in the NICU in this health system was unimmunized or underimmunized at discharge. Further efforts should be made to improve immunization rates prior to discharge.

Authors: Navar-Boggan AM; Halsey NA; Escobar GJ; Golden WC; Klein NP

J Perinatol. 2012 May;32(5):363-7. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

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