IDF SCID Newborn Screening Campaign

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On May 21, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the addition of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) – commonly known as bubble boy disease – to the recommended uniform screening. It is imperative that we sustain this momentum by establishing newborn screening programs in all 50 states.


SCID is a primary immunodeficiency disease. Affected infants lack T lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help resist infections due to a wide array of viruses, bacteria and fungi. Babies with SCID appear healthy at birth, but without early treatment, most often by bone marrow transplant from a healthy donor, these infants cannot survive.

SCID has been characterized in the medical community as a pediatric emergency. If a baby with SCID receives a bone marrow transplant in the first 3.5 months of life, the survival rate can be as high as 94 percent. However, the survival rate drops to less than 70 percent for infants who are transplanted after that age. The main causes for the drop in survival rate are serious infections babies with SCID developed prior to transplantation.

The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) was chartered in February 2003 to perform evidence-based reviews and advise the Secretary regarding application of new screening tests, technologies, policies, guidelines and standards for effectively reducing morbidity and mortality in newborns and children having, or at risk for, heritable disorders. SCID is the first new disease to be added to the federal uniform core-screening panel by the evidence-based Committee review process.

The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) has strongly supported and worked tirelessly toward this goal for many years. But it is imperative that we sustain this momentum by working to establish newborn screening programs in all 50 states.


The Immune Deficiency Foundation applauds the Secretary of Health and Human Service’s inclusion of SCID in the national standards. IDF wants every state to include SCID on their newborn screening panel immediately in order to save lives. To provide education and information about this issue, IDF has created awareness materials including the IDF SCID Newborn Screening blog, Parent Guides for Abnormal Screen and Diagnosis, the IDF SCID Newborn Screening Toolkit, and Advocacy Channel videos.

SCID Newborn Screening: Current Status of Implementation Map


As of September 1, 2015

States currently screening for SCID:

  1. Arkansas
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Delaware
  6. Florida
  7. Hawaii
  8. Illinois
  9. Iowa
  10. Maine
  11. Massachusetts
  12. Michigan
  13. Minnesota
  14. Mississippi
  15. Montana
  16. Nebraska
  17. New Hampshire
  18. New Jersey
  19. New Mexico
  20. New York
  21. Ohio
  22. Oklahoma
  23. Oregon
  24. Pennsylvania
  25. Rhode Island
  26. South Carolina
  27. South Dakota
  28. Texas
  29. Utah
  30. Virginia
  31. Washington
  32. West Virginia
  33. Wisconsin
  34. Wyoming

Also screening: District of Columbia, Navajo Nation

States and territories currently planning to begin screening in 2015:

  1. Alaska
  2. Georgia
  3. Idaho
  4. Kentucky
  5. Maryland
  6. Missouri
  7. North Carolina
  8. North Dakota
  9. Puerto Rico
  10. Tennessee

SCID Newborn Screening Campaign Blog

Read about the latest news and events related to the IDF SCID Newborn Screening Campaign.
Read the SCID Newborn Screening Blog

SCID: Guides for Parents

What does an Abnormal Screen for SCID Mean?

A Guide for Parents who receive an Abnormal Screen for SCID

SCID: A Guide for Parents Following Diagnosis

SCID: A Guide for Parents Following Diagnosis

IDF SCID Newborn Screening Toolkit


Journal Articles


  • “SCID Q & A with Sung-Yun Pai, MD,” IDF ADVOCATE, Spring 2015
    Sung-Yun Pai, MD, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, was lead author on two articles published last year on Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) in The New England Journal of Medicine: “Transplantation Outcomes for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, 2000–2009” July 31, 2014 and “A Modified γ-Retrovirus Vector for X-Linked Severe Combined Immunodeficiency” October 9, 2014. The first reviewed outcomes after bone marrow transplantation; the second reported the first results of a new international gene therapy trial for X-linked SCID. She answers questions about SCID based on the findings of the studies.
  • “Proof Positive: Study Confirms the Need for Early Screening and Intervention for SCID,” IDF ADVOCATE, Winter 2015
    The publishing of a landmark study in The Journal of the American Medical Association highlights findings of a large group of contributors* led by Jennifer M. Puck, MD, senior author of the study and a renowned Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) expert who is also a member of the IDF Medical Advisory Committee. The study, “Newborn Screening for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency in 11 Screening Programs in the U.S.,” published August 20, 2014, presented data from a wide range of screening programs, established an incidence rate based on populations, and discussed the significance of early intervention. This article reviews the study.

Make the Connection

Identify the contact in your state and start a conversation with them. Provide copies of the fact sheets in the IDF SCID Newborn Screening Toolkit to help them learn more about SCID and the importance of newborn screening. Share the information you learn and the progress you make with us via e-mail. Also check out the IDF SCID Newborn Screening blog to see what volunteer activity is already taking place in your state. You can become a part of the action by commenting or filling out the contact form at the top of the page. Together we can make SCID newborn screening universal!

Take Action

Taking action means working toward SCID newborn screening within your state since each state handles newborn screening differently. Some states require legislative action to add a new screening test, while other states have the authority to do so based on the recommendation of their state newborn screening program. The National Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center is a great resource. Visit their website to get information on how to contact your state lab or newborn screening program. Find out about the process of newborn screening in your state as well as vital information about the tests for which your state currently screens newborns.

SCID Newborn Screening on the IDF Advocacy Channel

The IDF Advocacy Channel videos communicate the powerful messages and stories of our patients to impact policy decisions. Focusing on patient advocacy on behalf of IDF public policy issues, this channel empowers the entire patient community. From those who share their personal stories to those who see others in similar situations standing up and making their voices heard, these videos tell powerful stories. View the IDF Advocacy Channel videos on the importance of SCID Newborn Screening.

IDF thanks PerkinElmer and Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for their support of the IDF SCID Newborn Screening Campaign page.

Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc.