Skip Navigation LinksPreterm-Infants-Often-Lack-Full-Series-of-Vaccinations

aaa print

Preterm Infants Often Lack Full Series of Vaccinations


Preterm infants are at increased risk for vaccine-preventable infections and associated complications. A study in the September 2019 issue of Pediatrics, “Early Childhood Vaccination Status of Preterm Infants” (published online August 7), examined hospital birth records and state immunization registry data over eight years (2008-2016) to see how many preterm infants received recommended vaccinations compared to their full-term counterparts. The records included 10,367 Washington state infants. The data showed that fewer than half of infants born preterm, less than 37 weeks, received the full seven vaccine series recommended by 19 months of age. In addition, over one-third of the preterm infants failed to complete this series by 36 months. The authors suggest that the findings raise concern because of increased numbers of preterm births and the fact that preterm infants are particularly susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases such as S. pneumonia, pertussis, rotavirus and influenza.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds