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The Hib bacteria can cause meningitis, an infection of the spinal cord and brain. The Hib vaccine has eliminated tens of thousands of cases of Hib every year and is recommended by pediatricians.
In this video series, physicians at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia explain how vaccines work and how they are made. The video also describes several vaccines and the diseases they prevent. Families share their stories of children affected by vaccine-preventable diseases.
Paul A. Offit, MD: Hib vaccine was first used in the late 1980s. At that time the Hib bacteria was the most common cause of meningitis in this country. During my training, I saw children come into the hospital every week with meningitis caused by Hib. Some of these children were left blind, deaf, or learning disabled. Because Hib and pneumococcal bacteria are very similar, the Hib vaccine is made in the exact same way as the pneumococcal vaccine. Now, because of the Hib vaccine, we no longer have tens of thousands of cases of Hib every year. Young doctors in training don't have to see what I saw.
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