Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine

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Philippe Gloaguen
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What is Haemophilus influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae is a bacterium that causes a large number of infections, the most common of which are ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.





In some cases, especially in newborns, these infections can lead to complications such as septic pneumonia, meningitis and epiglottitis, or inflammation of the epiglottis, the membrane that separates the esophagus from the trachea.

In some cases, especially in newborns, these infections can lead to complications such as septic pneumonia, meningitis and epiglottitis, or inflammation of the epiglottis, the membrane that separates the esophagus from the trachea. In the latter case, a tracheostomy (surgical opening of a hole in the trachea) must be performed quickly to allow the child to breathe.

The vaccine against this infection has been available since the mid-80s and consists of some elements of the bacterium's membrane capable of activating the immune response. Before the introduction of the vaccine there were 15-30 cases of complicated infection per 100 thousand individuals; today, thanks to increasing immunization, it has dropped to one in 100 cases.

The rarity of the infection has led some parents to suspend vaccination, but this is not a safe practice. since in Del Paese not all Regions have achieved good coverage. Therefore, it is enough to loosen the preventive measures to make the infection return on a large scale.

When to get the vaccine and side effects

The first course of vaccines is performed during the first year of life (often within the hexavalent vaccination). There is a five-year recall. After this age, recalls are suspended because the greatest risks are run in the first years of life.



 

The vaccine is effective in 90% of cases. Fever or a local reaction of redness and swelling occurs rarely. The only serious risk is anaphylactic shock, which occurs in about 1 in a million cases.


 

Sources: The information on the efficacy and indications of the vaccines, and the epidemiological data contained in the information sheets on the individual vaccines are based on official documents of the Higher Institute of Health and of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta (USA)

 

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  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • first year
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