A major study examining two versions of the new haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) vaccine, introduced this month in Britain, shows that they don't work as well as they should.
The vaccine, being offered to infants at two, three and four months, is supposed to protect against Hib caused meningitis.
However, the study by the National Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, of 10,400,000 children, showed that the "polysaccharide" version of the vaccine offered protection in 64 per cent of cases and the new "conjugate" vaccine, only 74 per cent protection.
Nine of 75 children with Hib disease had received the vaccine just two weeks before they became ill.
Originally developed to stop a host from rejecting an organ transplant, the drug is now being used for all manner of autoimmune illness.
The New England Journal of Medicine, 18 June 1992.