CDC: Watch for meningitis amid ongoing vaccine shortage

November 21, 2008

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have warned doctors to stay vigilant for possible cases of meningitis and other illnesses in children, reported Reuters.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have warned doctors to stay vigilant for possible cases of meningitis and other illnesses in children, reported Reuters.

Because Merck & Inc. has pushed its reintroduction of recalled Haemophilus influnzae type b (Hib) vaccines from late this year to mid-2009, the CDC is asking physicians to delay the routine Hib vaccine booster doses given at age 12 to 15 months. CDC officials are most concerned about Hib-caused bacterial meningitis and sepsis in children younger than 5, according to Reuters.

Sanofi Pasteur's supply of Hib vaccine is still available, however, enabling doctors to give primary vaccine series at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.

The CDC would like physicians to notify local health departments upon detecting cases of Hib disease, and obtain a clinical specimen.