The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new cocktail of vaccines for use on babies and children between two months and five years (JAMA, 19 May 1993).
Tetramune is a combination of the DTP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus and petussis, or whooping cough) and the vaccine against haemophilus b (Hib), the virus that causes meningitis.
By combining the two in one, Tetramune is intended to reduce to four from eight the number of shots US children have to get. So far, it has been tested on 6793 children who were given the all in one dose, compared with 4232 children who were given the separate vaccines.
The results showed no significant difference in antibody response between the two groups. The frequency and types of adverse reactions reported for Tetramune were comparable to the two vaccines given at separate sites, the report said.
The most common reactions were fever, redness and inflammation at the injection site, and irritability. Rare "enhanced adverse events" sudden infant death syndrome, hospitalizations and emergency department visits were comparable with those seen using the two separate vaccines.