NYMC Faculty Publications

Applying Lessons from Vaccination Hesitancy to Address Birth Dose Vitamin K Refusal: Where Has the Trust Gone?

Journal Title

Seminars in Perinatology

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Document Type

Review Article

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Second Department

Health Behavior and Community Health


Refusal of intramuscular Vitamin K at birth is an emerging public health issue resulting in increased rates of intracranial bleeding. Parents who refuse this intervention bear epidemiologic resemblance to vaccine-refusing parents, are geographically clustered and share a mistrust of public health interventions. We review the prevalence of Vitamin K refusal and discuss individual and societal recommendations that may reduce Vitamin K refusal, adapted from vaccine hesitancy literature. We note the prevalence of misinformation on social media as a contributor to refusal and explore how changes in healthcare practices may influence growing physician mistrust. We propose solutions to the issue including state-based mandates and a pervasive social media strategy to combat misinformation as a contributor to Vitamin K refusal.

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