Albany Medical Center Honored for Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose Rate
ALBANY, N.Y., July 16, 2013—Albany Medical Center’s Birth Place and neonatal intensive care unit have been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the New York State Department of Health for achieving one of the highest rankings in the state for its work to immunize newborns against the hepatitis B virus.
“Through the outstanding efforts of our doctors, nurses and staff, Albany Med has helped protect thousands of infants against a terrible disease in ways that can serve as models for other institutions,” said James J. Barba, Albany Medical Center president and CEO.
Albany Med is the inaugural entry in the IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll, which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. Albany Med immunized 99 percent of babies in 2012; the only infants who did not receive immunization were those too ill to receive it or those whose parents declined.
“Hospitals and birthing centers have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening hepatitis B infection,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director and founder of the IAC. “Albany Med’s commitment to the education of parents and the immunization of newborns has shown them to be a leader in preventing the transmission of the hepatitis B virus.”
In 2009, Albany Med initiated a program to educate parents on the benefits of vaccinating babies within 12 hours of birth, except in the case of premature babies where size prevents a safe vaccination.
“I commend Albany Medical Center for its commitment to the best practice of hepatitis B vaccination and treatment of newborns in their care," said New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH. "Studies have shown nearly 90 percent of perinatal hepatitis B virus infections can be prevented through vaccination, but far too many newborns don’t receive such treatment after discharge from the hospital. Vaccinating newborns within 12 hours of birth has proven highly effective in protecting infants from the hepatitis B virus and the other diseases it may cause during their lifetimes.”
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with nearly 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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