Racial Disparities in Hepatitis B Birth Dose in the Washington Metropolitan Region, 2018-2020

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Journal Article

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hepatitis B birth dose; primary prevention; race; retrospective analysis


Hepatitis B vaccination protects newborns from contracting the hepatitis B virus that may lead to chronic infection, liver failure, or death. Trends and racial differences in the administration of the hepatitis B (HepB) birth dose in 2018-2020 were examined in the targeted region. A retrospective analysis of electronic birth dose vaccination data of newborns in 2018-2020 was performed. Birth data from six birthing facilities and home delivery records were obtained from the DC Health Department Vital Statistics Division. This data represented 40,269 newborns and included the mother's race and ethnicity, health insurance type, birthing facility, and administration of the HepB birth dose. Descriptive analysis and multivariable logistic regression analysis were conducted. In addition, subgroup analysis by health insurance type was also conducted with a significant interaction of race/ethnicity and health insurance type. A total of 34,509 (85.7%) received the HepB birth dose within 12 h or before discharge from the facility. The rates of birth dose vaccination have seen an increase over the 3-year period (83.7% in 2018, 85.8% in 2018, 87.7% in 2020, < 0.01). Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed racial differences in HepB birth dose vaccination rates. Asian Americans had the highest rate of newborn vaccination consistently over the 3-year period. Conversely, African American infants were less likely to have the birth dose than non-Hispanic Whites (aOR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.71-0.83). Our research indicates that further studies are needed to explore HepB birth dose hesitancy among African Americans.


Nursing Faculty Publications