Haemophilus influenzae type b infection, vaccination, and H. influenzae carriage in children in Minnesota, 2008–2009

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Abstract

SUMMARY

An increase in invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) cases occurred in Minnesota in 2008 after the recommended deferral of the 12–15 months Hib vaccine boosters during a US vaccine shortage. Five invasive Hib cases (one death) occurred in children; four had incomplete Hib vaccination (three refused/delayed); one was immunodeficient. Subsequently, we evaluated Hib carriage and vaccination. From 18 clinics near Hib cases, children (aged 4 weeks-60 months) were surveyed for pharyngeal Hib carriage. Records were compared for Hib, diphtheria-tetanusacellular pertussis (DTaP), and pneumococcal (PCV-7) vaccination. Parents completed questionnaires on carriage risk factors and vaccination beliefs. In 1631 children (February-March 2009), no Hib carriage was detected; Hib vaccination was less likely to be completed than DTaP and PCV-7. Non-type b H. influenzae, detected in 245 (15%) children, was associated with: male sex, age 24–60 months, daycare attendance >15 h/week, a household smoker, and Asian/Pacific Islander race/ethnicity. In 2009, invasive Hib disease occurred in two children caused by the same strain that circulated in 2008. Hib remains a risk for vulnerable/unvaccinated children, although Hib carriage is not widespread in young children.

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