To determine the proportion of Los Angeles County (LAC) hospitals offering obstetrical services that have postpartum and postabortion rubella vaccination policies.
A survey was sent to the infection control practitioners (ICPs) of all operational acute care hospitals (N = 133) in LAC in 1992. A reminder and second survey was mailed to ICPs who did not respond to the first mailing.
Of 75 hospitals with obstetrical departments, 56 (75%) responded. Thirty-four (61%) of the 56 respondent hospitals had postpartum rubella vaccination policies. Of the 34 hospitals with policies, 30 (88%) accepted only a written record of rubella seropositivity as proof of immunity, 30 (88%) screened women with unknown immunity status before hospital discharge, and 32 (94%) vaccinated susceptible women before hospital discharge. Of the 32 hospitals that performed induced abortions, only two (6%) provided screening and vaccination services for these women.
Only 61% of hospitals in LAC offering obstetrical services had postpartum rubella vaccination policies while only minimal screening and vaccination occurred in association with abortion services. Widespread implementation of postabortion screening and vaccination, and more stringent compliance with Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for postpartum screening and vaccination in hospitals offering obstetrical services would reduce the number of rubella-susceptible women who have been missed by other prevention strategies.