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What is the History of Hib Vaccine in America?

History of Hib vaccine

Scientists began experimenting with a vaccine to prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b more than 30 years ago. One of the first ones was a polysaccharide vaccine that only induced protective levels in children older than 18 to 24 months old. When reinjection did not induce a booster effect at any age, researchers reported that, if they were going to achieve immunoprophylactic control of meningitis caused by Hib, they were going to have to come up with a more effective vaccine.1

After researchers discovered that a conjugation process offered better effects, the first conjugated Hib vaccine, ProHIBIT, was introduced in the U.S. in December 1987. ProHIBIT and other early conjugated vaccines (Hib TITER, PRP-D) are no longer available in the U.S. Today the only conjugated vaccines available in the U.S. are ActHIB, Hiberix, PedvaxHIB and MenHibrix.

The first combination vaccine―hepatitis B and Hib―was licensed in the U.S. in October 1996. Today there is one combination vaccine available in the U.S.: Pentacel, which contains H. influenzae b, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio; Comvax, which contains H. influenzae b and hepatitis B, is an approved vaccine but Merck has discontinued production at this time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib) and the Hib vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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1 Schneerson R, Barrera O, Sutton A, Robbins JB. Preparation, Characterization, and Immunogenicity of Haemophilus Influenzaee Type b Polysaccharide-Protein Conjugates. J Exp Med. Aug. 1, 1980. Online. (Accessed June 2012)

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