Safety concerns are a barrier to uptake of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine among infants in the United States, according to a new report presented at the 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference, Healio reports.

The study highlights that universal hep B screening is considered safe and is recommended in the United States for babies in the immediate postnatal period.

Doctors are becoming increasingly concerned that parents who refuse the vaccinations for their kids will put many Americans unnecessarily at risk for the potentially deadly, but entirely preventable, liver disease.

For the study, researchers surveyed 659 parents about their intentions for vaccinating their infants against hep B. Among them, 81 percent consented and 8 percent planned the shot at their baby’s two-week hospital visit. However, 5 percent of parents said they did not want the vaccine and 6 percent said they were undecided.

The most common reason for refusal was that parents thought their child was too young to receive the shot. The second most common reason was that parents did not think their child was at risk for HBV. Other parents were worried about the overall safety of the vaccine. Most reported getting their information about the vaccine online.

The AAP suggests doctors plan strategic interventions for parents who refuse the HBV vaccine. The idea is to help parents weigh the benefits and risks, discuss hep B shots earlier on during pregnancy, and recommend more factual resources.