Hib vaccine linked to diabetes

The Hib vaccine, the vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis, may be linked to juvenile diabetes, according to new American research.

US scientist J Barthelow Classen, an outspoken opponent of vaccines, compared a group of children who received four doses of the Hib vaccine with a group which received just one dose and a group which was not vaccinated at all.

Those who received the vaccine, particularly those who got the four doses, had a far higher incidence of type I or juvenileonset diabetes. The incidence of diabetes per 100,000 in each of the groups was 261 (four doses), 237 (one dose) and 201 (no vaccine) at age 7 years. At 10 years of age, the rate per 100,000 rose to 398, 376 and 340, respectively.

Sharp rises in type I diabetes have been reported in both the US and the UK following the introduction of the Hib vaccine (BMJ, 1999; 319: 1133).