Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This study describes the long-term complications in children with Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccine failure and to determine their risk of other serious infections. The families of 323 children with invasive Hib disease after appropriate vaccination (i.e. vaccine failure) were contacted to complete a questionnaire relating to their health and 260 (80.5%) completed the questionnaire. Of the 124 children with meningitis, 18.5% reported serious long-term sequelae and a further 12.1% of parents attributed other problems to Hib meningitis. Overall, 14% (32/231 cases) of otherwise healthy children and 59% (17/29 cases) of children with an underlying condition developed at least one other serious infection requiring hospital admission. In a Poisson regression model, the risk of another serious infection was independently associated with the presence of an underlying medical condition (incidence risk ratio (IRR) 7.6, 95% CI 4.8-12.1; p<0.0001), both parents having had a serious infection (IRR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6-10.3; p=0.003), requirement of more than two antibiotic courses per year (IRR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.6; p=0.001) and the presence of a long-term complication after Hib infection (IRR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.1; p=0.03). Thus, rates of long-term sequelae in children with vaccine failure who developed Hib meningitis are similar to those in unvaccinated children in the pre-vaccine era. One in seven otherwise healthy children (14%) with Hib vaccine failure will go on to suffer another serious infection requiring hospital admission in childhood, which is higher than would be expected for the UK paediatric population.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2195 - 2200


Adolescent, Bacterial Capsules, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Haemophilus Infections, Haemophilus Vaccines, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Humans, Infant, Male, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Failure, United Kingdom