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Reuters Health Information (2006-08-24): Concurrent vaccination well-tolerated and effective in infants

Public Health

Concurrent vaccination well-tolerated and effective in infants

Last Updated: 2006-08-24 12:00:57 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Administration of an established combination vaccine against diphtheria and several other major diseases together with a meningococcal C-tetanus toxoid vaccine is safe and effective in infants, according to Spanish researchers. The effects are not altered if hepatitis B vaccine is given at birth.

In the August issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Dr. Pilar Garcia-Corbeira of GlaxoSmithKline, Madrid, and colleagues determined if a multiple immunization approach impairs immune response. They randomized 115 healthy infants to a hexavalent diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-hepatitis B-inactivated polio-Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (Infanrix hexa, GlaxoSmithKline) administered at 2, 4 and 6 months.

The infants also received NeisVac-C (Baxter) a meningococcal C-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine at 2 and 4 months.

Another 115 infants were randomized to receive a hepatitis B vaccination at birth, Infanrix hexa at 2 and 6 months and a similar combination vaccine without the hepatitis B component (Infanrix-IPV Hib) at 4 months. NeisVac-C was co-administered at 2 and 4 months.

Responses of the infants in these two groups were compared with those of another 120 infants who received Infanrix hexa at 2, 4 and 6 months co-administered with a total of three doses of Meningitec (Wyeth), another meningococcal C conjugate vaccine, which employs non-toxic mutant diphtheria toxin.

All schedules were well tolerated and the team found that responses in the two NeisVac-C groups were not inferior to those in the Meningitec group. In fact, anti-prion protein antibody geometric mean concentrations were significantly higher in NeisVac-C patients.

Overall, the investigators conclude that the combination approaches along with two doses of NeisVac-C conjugate vaccine are "safe, well tolerated and immunogenic with no impairment of the response to the co-administered antigen."

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2006;25:713-720.

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