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November 20, 1996

Progress Toward Elimination of Haemophilus influenzae Type b Disease Among Infants and Children—United States, 1987-1995

JAMA. 1996;276(19):1542-1544. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540190014006

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BEFORE effective vaccines were available, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis among children in the United States, and an estimated one of 200 children aged <5 years developed invasive Hib disease.1-4 From December 1987—when Hib conjugate vaccines were introduced—through 1994, the incidence of invasive Hib disease declined 95% among children aged <5 years.4,5 Eliminating invasive Hib disease among children aged <5 years by 1996 is a goal of the Childhood Immunization Initiative (CII).6 This report summarizes data about trends in invasive H. influenzae (Hi) disease during 1987-1995 from three separate surveillance systems (CDC's National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System [NNDSS]; the National Bacterial Meningitis and Bacteremia Reporting System [NBMBRS]; and an active, multistate, laboratory-based surveillance system). The findings underscore the need for age-appropriate vaccination of infants and for complete investigation and reporting of cases