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Respiratory Complications Not Seen After Vaccination Given at Recommended Chronologic Age :

April 21, 2016

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that preterm infants receive their scheduled vaccines at their chronologic age after birth even if they were born at an earlier gestational age. Is there a risk of giving preterm infants their two-month vaccines without adjusting for their gestational age?

No
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that preterm infants receive their scheduled vaccines at their chronologic age after birth even if they were born at an earlier gestational age. Is there a risk of giving preterm infants their two-month vaccines without adjusting for their gestational age?  Montague et al. (peds.2015-4225) demonstrate that the answer to this question is a strong “no” in a study of 240 infants born less than 32 weeks gestational age and vaccinated during their hospital stay while being observed for respiratory decompensation over the 72 hours post-vaccination.  

The results showed that abnormal respiratory signs or symptoms were extremely uncommon and did not vary by the presence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Hopefully you’ll keep this study nearby to review with parents of preterm infants who are hesitant to vaccinate at the recommended chronologic age when it comes to giving your best shot at convincing them that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks of delaying until their baby is older than the recommended age to receive a scheduled vaccine. 
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