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Efficacy of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccination of children: a meta-analysis.

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Centre for Vector Biology & Control Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, PO Box 1578, Kisumu, 40100, Kenya.


Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection is a leading cause of meningitis and pneumonia in infants and children in developing countries, and yet the implementation of routine Hib vaccination is very slow. The aim of the present study was to quantify the protective efficacy of H. influenzae type b vaccination of young children. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials Register were searched. References of selected articles were also reviewed and experts contacted. Eight randomized trials were found that compared the efficacy of H. influenzae type b conjugate vaccine to placebo or no vaccine. Information on study design, patients enrolled, age, vaccine type, cases of invasive H. influenzae type b disease, adverse events, and items to assess potential for bias was recorded. The incidence of invasive H. influenzae type b infection formed the primary outcome. The odds ratio (OR) of developing Hib infection was combined using a random effects model to provide a measure of vaccine efficacy. The protective effect, defined as the relative risk reduction, was estimated as (1-OR). From eight trials, the protective efficacy of the Hib conjugate vaccine was 84% (OR 0.16; 95%CI 0.08-0.30) against invasive Hib disease, 75% (OR 0.25; 95%CI 0.08-0.84) against meningitis, and 69% (OR 0.31; 95%CI 0.10-0.97) against pneumonia. Serious adverse events were rare. The results provide firm evidence that Hib conjugate vaccines are safe and effective in reducing the risk of all forms of invasive Hib disease, further establishing that vaccination of children in developing countries can protect them from a potentially fatal yet preventable disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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