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Threat to delay out-of-hours opt-out unless GPs do shifts

The Government is poised to introduce an extra dose of Hib vaccine into the childhood schedule after research showed declining antibody levels were to blame for recent rises in invasive Hib disease.

Falling antibody levels were the only feasible explanation for rising levels of Hib disease in children, according to a Health Protection Agency study in the latest edition of Epidemiology and Infection.

And a second HPA study in last week's BMJ found herd immunity had disappeared, leading to increased rates of Hib disease among adults.

Dr Mary Ramsay, lead author on both studies and consultant epidemiologist in the HPA's immunisation department, told Pulse a booster was 'very likely' as Hib immunity disappeared by age five.

'The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is very seriously considering a booster,' said Dr Ramsay.

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