IVACG: Delivery of Vitamin A Supplements With DPT/Polio and Measles Immunization

Alnwick D, Arthur P, Dary O, Davidson FR, Mejia L, Reddy V, Smitasiri S, Sommer A, West C, West KP
January 1, 2000

The benefits of vitamin A supplementation to children above six months of age have been clearly shown, and this has spurred vitamin A-deficiency control initiatives around the world. Young infant supplementation with 25,000 IU vitamin A is safe. The most frequently reported side effect, bulging of the anterior fontanel, is benign and transient, and currently there is no evidence of associated long-term neurological deficit. There also is no indication that supplementation at this time will reduce seroconversion to DPT and polio immunizations. However, supplementation with 25,000 IU of vitamin A at the time of each DPT/polio immunization does not produce a sustained improvement in vitamin A status beyond six months of age. To achieve this, it will be necessary to provide additional vitamin A (100,000 IU) at six months of age, and or increase the size and frequency of the dose, an issue that is currently under consideration.

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