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Press Release

The Family Birthplace at SMH
Honored for Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose Rate

The Family Birthplace at Stephens Memorial Hospital has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) the Maine Immunization program for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection

The Family Birthplace at Stephens Memorial Hospital 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. The Family Birthplace immunized 90 percent of babies from September 2013-September 2014 and took additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.

The national standard of care to prevent hepatitis B virus infection in babies is to administer hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital or birthing center. 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 and birthing centers have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening hepatitis B infection,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director and founder of IAC. “The Family Birthplace at Stephens Memorial Hospital’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 hepatitis B virus.”



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