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J Pediatr. 2003 Dec;143(6 Suppl):S163-87.

Global reduction of Hib disease: what are the next steps? Proceedings of the meeting Scottsdale, Arizona, September 22-25, 2002.

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Department of International Health, the Center for American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


On September 22 to 25, 2002, a group of infectious disease specialists, public health officials, and vaccine experts from 33 countries gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona, to discuss the epidemiology and control of disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) in the era of Hib conjugate vaccines. This supplement is a synthesis of the major themes and key lessons identified at the meeting. The objectives of the conference were to review the 10-year experience with Hib conjugate vaccines, discuss strategies to reduce Hib disease rates to lowest possible levels in industrialized countries, review impediments to the introduction of Hib vaccine in developing countries, and discuss strategies for disseminating lessons learned from countries using to those not using Hib conjugate vaccines. Over 10 years of international experience with Hib conjugate vaccines has demonstrated that they are safe and effective. Routine use of Hib conjugate vaccine has consistently led to decreases in the incidence of invasive Hib disease of 90% or more across a wide range of epidemiologic situations in industrialized countries. In some countries, the vaccine has caused a near-disappearance of invasive Hib disease through a combination of direct protection and herd immunity. Developing countries that have implemented routine vaccination (eg, The Gambia, Chile) have also had substantial disease reduction. In countries where Hib conjugate vaccine is being used, reducing Hib disease incidence to the lowest possible level will depend on maintaining high vaccine coverage levels, conducting surveillance for Hib disease, and investigating Hib disease cases. The optimal Hib vaccination strategy will depend on many factors, including local epidemiology and programmatic considerations. In countries that are not using Hib conjugate vaccine, information on the local burden of Hib disease will be essential for leaders considering vaccine introduction. Where disease burden is high, a multifaceted approach is urgently needed to evaluate and overcome barriers to vaccine introduction. In areas where Hib disease burden is not well characterized, additional work will be needed to understand the epidemiology of Hib disease and to communicate the value of Hib conjugate vaccine.

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