Objective. To study the immunogenicity and tolerability of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine administered in the neonatal period.
Design. Hib capsular polysaccharide (PS)-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (PRP-T) was given to 120 neonates at 2 days of age, followed by PRP-T or the Hib PS vaccine at 4 months and a PRP-T booster at 14 months. Their anti-Hib PS concentrations were compared with those in children receiving PRP-T at 2 and 4 months or at 4 months.
Results. No serious adverse reactions were noted. The geometric mean concentration of anti-Hib PS at the age of 2 days was 0.34 µg/mL and at 4 months was 0.12 µg/mL. This was significantly more than the concentration in unimmunized infants at this age and 3.5 times more than expected, taking into account the natural decay of transplacentally acquired antibodies. Such a response was not seen in infants with a high (greater than 3.0 µg/mL) neonatal antibody concentration. The PRP-T vaccine given at 4 months elicited an antibody response in all infants and Hib PS in 62%, indicating immunologic priming. At 14 months a higher percentage of the infants who had received PRP-T at 2 days and 4 months than of those who had received PRP-T at 4 months only had anti-Hib PS concentrations greater than 0.15 µg/mL. All infants responded well to the booster at 14 months. There was no evidence of immunologic tolerance.
Conclusions. Neonatal immunization with PRP-T was safe and well tolerated in Finnish infants, and it would be worthwhile to further study its effects in higher risk populations.
- Received July 1, 1994.
- Accepted October 4, 1994.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics