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Category: Infectious Diseases
Parents who are unsure of whether their children are immune against hepatitis A (HAV) may send for a lab test to make sure. They may follow this with a vaccine against the virus. However, there has been some confusion about whether such an inoculation would be effective in children who receive anti-HAV antibodies from their mothers while still in the womb.
New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that a mother's antibodies probably won't interfere with her child's immune response to an HAV vaccine.
This conclusion is based on a study of 197 children aged 6 to 21 months, all of whom received two doses of inactivated HAV vaccine. In addition to inoculating the children, the scientists also collected information on the mothers' immune status against HAV.
About 10 years after inoculation, most of the study participants were still immune to HAV, regardless of whether they received antibodies from their mothers.
"These findings support current CDC/ACIP guidelines for routine administration of two doses of inactivated hepatitis A vaccine to all children in the U.S. beginning at the age of 12 months," said lead study author Umid Sharapov.
Children who do not appear to be immune against HAV in a lab test may benefit from a booster shot.
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