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Reuters Health Information (2006-09-19): Hepatitis A safe and effective when given with other vaccines to young children

Public Health

Hepatitis A safe and effective when given with other vaccines to young children

Last Updated: 2006-09-19 15:32:01 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A three-vaccine combination is safe and maintains immunogenicity when administered to children younger than 2 years of age, according to study results published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. Terry Nolan of the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, and colleagues in the US studied the concurrent administration of the hepatitis A vaccine (Havrix), the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP, Infanrix) and the Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine (OmniHIB) in 1084 healthy children between 11 and 25 months old.

The children were randomized to one of five treatment arms, depending on vaccine history and age. Those between 11 and 13 months old received two hepatitis A vaccine doses 6 months apart.

Those between 15 and 18 months old received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine 6 months apart; or the hepatitis A vaccine plus DTaP and Hib vaccines, with the another hepatitis A vaccine given 6 months later; or the DTaP and Hib vaccines, followed 1 month and 7 months later by the hepatitis A vaccine.

Children 23 to 25 months of age received two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine six months apart.

Dr. Nolan and colleagues measured immune responses at baseline and 30 days after vaccine administration.

All children were seropositive after the two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine. Co-administration with DTaP and Hib did not affect the immunogenicity of any of the vaccines, with the exception that the antipertussis toxoid vaccine response was slightly decreased.

Dr. Nolan notes that the study has two principal findings: The hepatitis A vaccine, given in two doses 6 months apart, is safe in children as young as 11 months of age; and the hepatitis A vaccine can be given in combination with DTaP and Hib vaccines without adverse events or a diminution of immunogenicity.

Pediatr 2006;118:e602-e609.

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