CDC Alters Kids' Vaccine Recommendation

CDC Temporarily Defers a Booster Shot for Hib Vaccine Due to Hib Vaccine Recall

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on December 19, 2007
From the WebMD Archives

Dec. 19, 2007 -- The CDC today announced a temporary change to its recommendations for a common childhood vaccine.

The vaccine is the Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib vaccine).

For now, the CDC has deferred the Hib vaccine booster shot for most kids aged 12-15 months due to a recall-related shortage of the vaccine.

There are some exceptions. Kids at high risk for Hib -- including children with sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, and American Indian/Alaska Native children -- should still get the Hib vaccine booster shot at ages 12-15 months.

Last week, the drug company Merck recalled 1.2 million doses of its Hib vaccines -- PedvaxHIB and Comvax -- because of concerns about product sterility. The recall was a precaution; no tainted vaccines have been found.

The drug company Sanofi Aventis also makes Hib vaccines. Those vaccines haven't been recalled. But Sanofi Aventis likely can't provide enough of its Hib vaccines right away to cover the recall-related shortage, according to the CDC.

The Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib vaccine) prevents serious bacterial infections, including:

  • Meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord
  • Pneumonia, a lung infection

The CDC recommends the Hib vaccine for all children under 5 years old in the U.S., with doses starting when children are 2 months old. The Hib vaccine isn't related to the flu vaccine.

WebMD Health News


SOURCES: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Dispatch, Dec. 19, 2007; vol 56: pp 1-2. WebMD Medical News: "Common Childhood Vaccine Recalled." News release, CDC.

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.