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St. Joseph Health Honored for Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose Rate

Posted in: Accreditations

Bryan, TX, May 10, 2017 -- St. Joseph Health has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), Texas Department of State Health Services and Brazos County Health Department for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from Hepatitis B virus infection. “The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests as a best practice that we offer the Hepatitis B immunization to all parents of newborns,” said Beverly Welch, Chief Nursing Officer of St. Joseph Health. “We believe it’s important to vaccinate babies at birth so they will be protected as early as possible from any exposure to the virus.” St. Joseph Health is the newest entry into 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. St. Joseph Health’s Nursery makes this immunization available to all families who deliver in its hospital, taking additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of Hepatitis B. The national standard of care to prevent Hepatitis B infection in babies is to administer the vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital. This standard is being adopted by centers of healthcare excellence nationwide as a safety net to protect newborns from a wide range of medical errors that lead to babies being unprotected from perinatal Hepatitis B infection. “Hospitals have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening Hepatitis B infection,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director and founder of IAC. “CHI St. Joseph Health’s commitment to the best practice of Hepatitis B vaccination at birth has shown them to be a leader in preventing the transmission of the virus.”

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