Hib vaccines shown to have big impact in developing countries

Researchers released data on Thursday that indicates Haemophilus influenzae type b is having a large impact in developing countries.

The research, carried out by 115 researchers in seven different countries over an eight year period, showed that the Hib vaccine is having a large impact on countries in Asia and Eastern Europe.

One example of the Hib vaccine's effectiveness is in Mongolia, one of the earliest countries to introduce the vaccine. Cases of Hib meningitis decreased from 28 cases per 100,000 children in 2005 to two per 100,000 children in 2010. Other countries, including Gambia and Mozambique showed similar positive results.

In a supplemental study, the Hib vaccine was also shown to be cost-effective in areas where the disease burden is higher and access to care is lower.

Before the widespread use of the Hib vaccine, Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis and was a major factor in causing severe pneumonia in children under five. The disease has been virtually eliminated in high-income countries and significantly reduced in low-income countries.

The results of the study was published in a 13 article segment in a special, GAVI Alliance sponsored issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.