ATLANTA (November 14, 2013) Federal health officials Thursday reported four cases of a rare infant illness in Tennessee that have been linked to parents’ refusal of a routine shot for newborns.
The four Nashville-area infants suffered brain or stomach bleeding earlier this year.
In each case, the parents declined vitamin K shots, which have routinely been given to newborns since 1961 to improve blood clotting and prevent internal bleeding.
All four children were treated with vitamin K and survived.
On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the illnesses were the first tied to parents opting out of the shots.
Reports of vitamin K deficiency are rare.
The CDC said the parents believed that the shots weren't necessary or cause leukemia.
Neither is true, officials said.