WHO Ad Hoc Expert Consultation on Hib vaccination schedules
3-4 October 2012, CCV, Geneva, Switzerland
The current vaccine schedule in use in many countries was established more than 25 years ago as part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). However, despite a global increase in vaccine uptake compared to the early years when EPI was first introduced, vaccine-preventable diseases still remain important causes of childhood morbidity and mortality.
Since the establishment of the initial global vaccination schedule (6, 10 and 14 weeks for DTP-OPV and 9 months for measles vaccine), the epidemiology of these infections has greatly changed. New vaccines have been designed and introduced, health services have changed and expanded, and other interventions have been linked to EPI activities (such as micronutrient supplementation and preventive treatments for malaria).
In addition, much has been learnt about the mechanism of action and impact of all vaccines. Given all these developments, there is growing recognition that new or alternative schedules may be desirable to optimize impact and reduce child mortality. Differences in country specific burden of diseases as well as varying health infrastructures and resources suggest that it is unlikely that a single, uniform immunization schedule would now suit all countries. SAGE has already reviewed the evidence on PCV and Hib schedules and issued new recommendations on immunization schedules.
Objectives of the meeting
To review the evidence on the current WHO-recommended immunization schedules for Hib vaccines and on alternative Hib vaccination schedules in preparation for a forthcoming SAGE session on the subject in November 2012. Attached is a detailed relation of the evidence under review and main collaborators.
The available evidence will be used to address the following question:
- What are the optimal schedules for Hib vaccines for children living in different epidemiological settings?
- What evidence is available on the current Hib vaccine schedule versus alternative schedules OR
- What schedules does the evidence favours (i.e. effectiveness, co-administration, operational issues, costs) for children living in different epidemiological settings?
The outcomes of this consultation informed a SAGE discussion on the topic in November 2012.