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[Correspondence] Neonatal vitamin A: time to move on?

Results of the Neovita trial (April 4, p 1268)1 investigating vitamin A supplementation in newborn babies shortly after birth showed no effect in Africa but improved infant survival in south Asia. An accompanying Comment by Batool Haider and Zulfiqar Bhutta2 highlighted regional differences and context as accounting for these outcomes, especially prevalence and severity of pre-existing maternal vitamin A deficiency. Maternal vitamin A status in African settings was normal, and newborn dosing had no effect, but materal vitamin A was deficient in South Asia, where newborn dosing reduced infant mortality by 10–22% (excluding a study referenced from Nepal, where newborn babies were not dosed).