Shortage prompts change in CDC Hib vaccine recommendations

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 19, 2008

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Physicians should not provide the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine booster shot to healthy children 12 to 15 months old because of shortfalls in supplies, according to an alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month.

This final shot in the series should continue to be given to children at high risk of developing the infection. This list includes those with severe spleen problems, sickle cell disease, HIV or immune system disorders, and those who are Alaskan and Native American.

The agency also is calling for physicians to establish a system to bring children back for catch-up vaccinations when supplies are restored.

The amount of vaccine is insufficient because sterility issues led Merck & Co. Inc. to recall some lots in December 2007. No adverse events have been associated with the recalled vaccine. Also, children who were vaccinated with it do not need to be reimmunized, because efficacy was not affected.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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