Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine—booster campaign

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 29 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1158

Rapid Response:

Paediatricians not informed about Haemophilus Influenzae B Booster


The new Haemophilus Influenza B vaccination campaign targeting all
children from ages six months to four years commenced on the 12th May
2003. It was highlighted in the editorial by Heath and Ramsey entitled
Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine—booster campaign(1) on 31st May.
Prior to this information was disseminated by the Department of Health in
a Document dated 10th April 2003(2). The recipients appropriately involved
Public Health Officials, GP’s, Hospital A&E Department.

Unfortunately the information was not cascaded to either Community or
Hospital Paediatricians. The former group in particular are involved in
advising parents and members of the Primary Health Care Team around
immunisation issues. Our Community Paediatric Team only incidentally
became aware of the programme when Practice Nurses questioned why we were
not encouraging children within the target group. This is particularly
important in areas of urban and rural deprivation with families with
traditionally low immunisation uptake levels who may opportunistically
seek advice for unrelated health issues from a different range of health
professionals. These children invariably form a large part of Community
Paediatric Practice.
It is clearly difficult to ensure information delivery within a structure
as vast as the NHS but was surprised at the omission of Paediatricians
within an issue which involved children nationally.

Dr. Dan Hawcutt

Community Paediatric SHO

Dr. Dilip Nathan

Consultant Paediatrician

1 BMJ 2003;326:1158-1159

2 Planned HIB Vaccination Catch up campaign – Further Information.
Department of Health Document. 10th April 2003

Competing interests:  
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 June 2003
Daniel B Hawcutt
SHO Community Paediatrics
Dr. Dilip Nathan, Consultant Community Paediatrician
Radford Health Centre, Radford, Nottingham. NG7 3GW