COUNTY HEALTH DEPT AWARDED $87,000 Grant for Increasing Hepatitis B Vaccinations.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. December 28, 2019:

The Westchester County Health Department will receive an incentive grant that recognizes its partnership with healthcare providers and parents in protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases.

“It is gratifying to me to see our staff acknowledged by the New York State Department of Health for their dedication to the important goal of increasing immunizations,” said Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health. “We also owe our success to medical providers and parents, who partner with us to protect newborns and all children from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The County Health Department will receive the maximum award of $87,095 for exceeding expectations in reporting by its Immunization Action Program and Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program.

Through outreach, follow-up and office visits with pediatric practices, the Immunization Action Program works to increase childhood immunization rates countywide, and to assure that healthcare providers administer the recommended vaccines in a timely fashion and record them in a state immunization registry. In pursuit of the program’s goals, a nurse visited more than 100 pediatric and family practitioners to share best practices during the year

The goal of the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program is to prevent the transmission of hepatitis B from an infected mother to her child during childbirth.

Efforts include outreach to healthcare providers and to pregnant women with Hepatitis B. The purpose is to assure that these newborns receive post-exposure treatment immediately after birth as well as two or more vaccines by the time they reach six months of age, to protect the child from hepatitis B.

After assessing the pregnancy status of about 700 women with Hepatitis B each year, the program tracks an average of 50 pregnant women and their newborns each year to prevent Hepatitis B transmission.

Newborns infected with hepatitis B have a 90 percent chance of developing lifelong infection. Currently, there is no cure for hepatitis B, but completing the hepatitis B vaccine series provides more than a 95 percent chance of lifelong protection.

Hepatitis B is a highly contagious and series viral infection of the liver. Hepatitis B can lead to premature death from liver damage, liver cancer or failure. It can be spread through contact with an infected person’s blood, bodily fluids or through sexual contact.

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