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Haemophilus influenzae type b/Meningococcal group C (Hib/MenC) - Information for health professionals

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Background

Acute meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia are notifiable diseases.

Hib

Hib disease normally presents as meningitis or epiglottitis and mainly affects children under five years, but can affect any age. The organism is spread by respiratory droplets and has an incubation period of two to four days.

Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal most commonly presents as either meningitis or sepsis, or a combination of both, or conjunctivitis. In the UK, meningococcal infection is most often caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis group B, although other serogroups can also cause disease. The incidence is highest in children under one year, and also ages 16 – 24 years. The organism is spread by respiratory droplets and has an incubation period of two to seven days.

Hib/MenC vaccine

Following the successful introduction of the MenC vaccine in 1999, the number of cases of meningococcal disease caused by group C bacteria has fallen by over 95% in vaccinated groups, there are now very few cases of invasive MenC disease.

From July 2016 monovalent MenC vaccination in infancy ceased. MenC is currently given in combined vaccines (Hib/MenC and MenACWY vaccines).

Since the introduction of Hib immunisation in the UK, disease incidence has fallen. In 1998, only 21 cases of invasive Hib were reported in England and Wales in children under five years of age compared with 803 in 1991.

Menitorix is an inactivated conjugate vaccine and includes a powder and solvent solution for reconstitution and then injection.

Summary of product characteristics

The Complete Routine Immunisation Schedule (PDF) includes information about routine and non-routine vaccinations.

 

Guidance

Vaccination programme recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Welsh Government policy can be found at the links below.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation - GOV.UK (read JCVI publications and statements; search e.g. Hib/MenC)

Welsh Health Circulars and Welsh Government letters

Removal of the meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) vaccine for babies (WHC/2016/027) | GOV.WALES

Changes to the routine Childhood Immunisation Programme (2006)

 

Training resources and events

Online courses and training materials about a number of vaccines and diseases can be accessed via the E-learning page.

Further immunisation training information and resources are provided on the Training Resources and Events page.

 

Clinical resources and information

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) - The Green Book, chapter 16

Meningococcal – The Green Book, chapter 22

Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols

PGD templates for vaccines can be found on the Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols page.

Further clinical resources and information

 

Data and surveillance