Nav: Home

Paid family leave improves vaccination rates in infants

September 09, 2019

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Parents who take paid family leave after the birth of a newborn are more likely to have their child vaccinated on time compared to those who do not, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. The effect is stronger on families living below the poverty line.    

"Currently, many people do not vaccinate their child within the recommended schedule and are late," said Solomon Polachek, professor of economics at Binghamton University. "Often this might be due to parental time constraints. When an infant is really young, these immunizations are critical, since infants are at a higher risk of infection and illness if not vaccinated properly."  

In 2004, California was the first state to implement a Paid Family Leave (PFL) policy, allowing private-sector employees up to six weeks of leave with partial wage replacement to care for a newborn baby. This time not only helps parents settle into their new caregiving roles, but it also allows them time to make vital parental decisions, such as ensuring their child is vaccinated on time.  

Binghamton University PhD student Agnitra Roy Choudhury, who conducted this study under Polachek's direction, looked at the National Immunization Survey to collect data regarding child vaccination rates between 19-35 months old. Specifically, the researchers looked at children born before and after the PFL policy was implemented in California and whether children received vaccinations on time compared to children in other states during the same time period. Vaccinations studied include Hepatitis-B (HepB), Diphtheria Tetatus Pertusis (DTP) and Haemophilus Influenza Type B (HIB).  

They found that the PFL policy in California granting six weeks of family leave with partial wage replacement reduced late vaccination rates in infants.  

"The research finds that paid family leave (at least in California) increases the chance an infant will be inoculated for the second HepB injection by over 5 percent relative to states not implementing paid family leave, and for the DTP injection by about 1.5 percent," said Polachek. "The effects are bigger for poorer families, who are less likely to have access to paid family leave from their jobs alone."  

According to Polachek, vaccinating infants on time is vital to their future health and well-being, since vaccines can ward off diseases that can impact future attendance at school. Not only do these outcomes lead to less learning for children, but also they can lead to lower earnings power.  

"Poor school attendance and less early childhood learning can have consequences regarding the widening earnings distribution," said Polachek. "Paid family leave might be a viable national policy if it mitigates these detrimental effects."  

Future research will focus on using more precise survey data and analyzing other states, such as New York, that have recently implemented PFL policies.
-end-
  The paper, "The Impact of Paid Family Leave on the Timing of Infant Vaccinations," was published in IZA Institute of Labor Economics.

Binghamton University

Related Infants Articles:

Deaf infants' gaze behavior more advanced than that of hearing infants
Deaf infants who have been exposed to American Sign Language are better at following an adult's gaze than their hearing peers, supporting the idea that social-cognitive development is sensitive to different kinds of life experiences.
Initiating breastfeeding in vulnerable infants
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are well-recognized, including for late preterm infants (LPI).
Young infants with fever may be more likely to develop infections
Infants with a high fever may be at increased risk for infections, according to research from Penn State College of Medicine.
Early term infants less likely to breastfeed
A new, prospective study provides evidence that 'early term' infants (those born at 37-38 weeks) are less likely than full-term infants to be breastfeed within the first hour and at one month after birth.
Infants are more likely to learn when with a peer
Researchers at the University of Connecticut and University of Washington looked at the mechanisms involved in language learning among nine-month-olds, the youngest population known to be studied in relation to on-screen learning.
Allergic reactions to foods are milder in infants
Majority of infants with food-induced anaphylaxis present with hives and vomiting, suggesting there is less concern for life-threatening response to early food introduction.
Non-dairy drinks can be dangerous for infants
A brief report published in Acta Paediatrica points to the dangers of replacing breast milk or infant formula with a non-dairy drink before one year of age.
Infants can't talk, but they know how to reason
A new study reveals that preverbal infants are able to make rational deductions, showing surprise when an outcome does not occur as expected.
Infants are able to learn abstract rules visually
Three-month-old babies cannot sit up or roll over, yet they are already capable of learning patterns from simply looking at the world around them, according to a recent Northwestern University study published in PLOS One.
Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out
Researchers at Penn State are using new statistical analysis methods to compare how we observe infants develop new skills with the unseen changes in electrical activity in the brain, or electroencephalography (EEG) power.
More Infants News and Infants Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#540 Specialize? Or Generalize?
Ever been called a "jack of all trades, master of none"? The world loves to elevate specialists, people who drill deep into a single topic. Those people are great. But there's a place for generalists too, argues David Epstein. Jacks of all trades are often more successful than specialists. And he's got science to back it up. We talk with Epstein about his latest book, "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.