Neonatal deaths following hepatitis B vaccination should be investigated as possible vaccine-related deaths.
An investigation of infant deaths following initial hepatitis B vaccination based on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 1992-2002
Soldatenkova VA, Yazbak FE. Medical Veritas. 2007;4:1414-1421.
This study argues that all unexpected neonatal deaths occurring after initial hepatitis B vaccination should be systematically investigated. Over one-fifth (22%) of neonatal hepatitis B vaccine injuries reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from 1992 to 2002 were deaths (38/170) that, in nearly all cases, occurred within hours or days of vaccination. Although most of the deaths were officially classified as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or “unexplained” rather than as vaccine-related deaths, the authors note “a statistically significant increase in [the] proportion of neonatal SIDS since implementation of universal vaccination of newborns against hepatitis B.” The VAERS reports also are suggestive of higher risks for premature, small, or slightly ill infants.