Check for booster against Hib bacteria

    Federal health officials say some young children between age 1 and 5 may need a booster vaccine to ward off the resurgence of a sometimes-deadly bacteria infection.

    Federal health officials say some young children between age 1 and 5 may need a booster vaccine to ward off the resurgence of a sometimes-deadly bacteria infection.

    In the late 1980s, the Hib bacteria was responsible for thousands of child deaths in the U.S. each year. Haemophilus influenzae type b causes various illnesses including meningitis and pneumonia

    A vaccine was approved in 1990, and soon after Hib-related illness virtually disappeared. Then in 2007, there was a manufacturing hitch and public health officials asked doctors to conserve the vaccine. Many newborns got just part of the full dose needed.

    Bonner: The first series provides good protection, but it doesn’t provide full protection. You really need to have that booster in order to have full protection.

    Pediatrician Robert Bonner leads outpatient care at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. The hospital has treated a handful of Hib illnesses in the last year, and other hospitals in Pennsylvania and around the country reported cases too.

    Bonner: Because of that lack of booster we started to see the infection come back when we were at a point that we didn’t really see it at all.

    There’s now plenty of vaccine to go around, so health officials want parents to make sure their child is fully immunized. If your child was born between June 2006 and March 2008, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you check with your pediatrician.

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