The Hib booster campaign in 2003 helped re-establish herd immunity in the UK and should be done routinely, claims the Health Protection Agency.
Researchers said there was a dramatic reduction in Hib cases the following year but a steady increase among toddlers after this ‘supports the decision to introduce routine boosting’.
They looked at data from 288 of the 303 PCTs in England, which revealed booster coverage of 71.8% for the 6-12 month age-group and 63.2% for the 13-48 months age-group.
‘The Hib booster campaign resulted in a dramatic reduction in cases within 12 months in the age-groups targeted for the booster,’ the authors said.
‘Since then, however, there has been an increase in the number of cases reported among one to three year olds (13 cases in 2004, 26 cases in 2005 and 32 cases in 2006), primarily in children who were too young to be vaccinated in the booster campaign,’ they added.
Archives of Disease in Childhood online first (2007) www.adc.bmj.com