Invasive Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) Disease Prevention
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is estimated to cause at least 8.13 million cases of serious disease worldwide in 2000 (uncertainty range 7.33-13.2 million cases) and approximately 371 000 (247 000 - 527 000)* deaths each year among young children. The main clinical manifestations of invasive Hib infections are severe pneumonia and meningitis. Hib also causes potentially severe inflammatory infections of the face, mouth, blood, epiglottis, joints, heart, bones, peritoneum, and trachea. Although this problem occurs worldwide the burden of Hib disease is most significant in resource-poor countries.
Vaccines are the only public health tool capable of preventing the majority of serious Hib disease. Hib vaccines are safe and efficacious even when administered in early infancy. By October 2011, 171 of the 193 Member States (89%) had adopted the vaccine in their routine immunization programmes. As a consequence, invasive Hib disease is practically eliminated in many industrialized countries and its incidence dramatically reduced also in many parts of the developing world. So far, however, access to immunization against this disease has been limited for many children living in low-income countries.
In view of their demonstrated safety and efficacy, WHO recommends that Hib conjugate vaccines to be included in all routine infant immunization programmes. This website provides the latest summary information in a set of slides and reference materials available to WHO about progress with decision-making and implementation of Hib vaccine introduction. It also presents estimates of disease burden reduction and indicators of programmatic implementation, including the development of surveillance networks to monitor progress at country level, and types of products used.
*Burden of disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b in children younger than 5 years: global estimates: The Lancet, vol 374, September 12 2009
Last updated: November 2011