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Hib disease falls after campaign.

The Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccination booster campaign targeting children aged six months to four years has resulted in a dramatic reduction in cases of invasive Hib, according to a report from Health Protection Agency staff. Hib is a major worldwide cause of childhood meningitis, pneumonia, epiglottitis, septicaemia, cellulitis, osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. The introduction of the conjugate vaccine in the UK in 1992 and the catchup campaign for children up to age four led to a rapid and sustained reduction in Hib disease across all ages.

From 1999, the number of Hib cases increased in all age groups, particularly in children under five years. Reasons for this included a decline in indirect protection, a decline in vaccine effectiveness in children vaccinated in infancy, and a temporary change in the Hib vaccine combination offered to young infants. As a result, a Hib vaccination booster campaign was conducted in 2003, targeting children from six months to four years of age.

The campaign resulted in a dramatic reduction in cases within 12 months, and was followed by a reduction in cases among older children and adults. Since the campaign, there has been an increase in the number of Hib cases among one- to three-year old children, primarily in children too young to be vaccinated during the booster campaign. This group of children are being targeted in the pre-school catch-up programme that began in September 2007.

Ladhani S, Slack MP, Heys M, White J, Ramsay ME. Fall in Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) disease following implementation of a booster campaign. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2008; 93(8): 665-9.
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Title Annotation:CLINICAL PAPERS; Haemophilus influenzae serotype b
Author:Thompson, June
Publication:Community Practitioner
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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