A total of 146 infants were immunised at ages 2, 3, and 4 months with a combined diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP)--Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) tetanus toxoid conjugate (PRP-T) vaccine (Pasteur Merieux) to assess the antibody response and adverse events associated with immunisation. Adverse events, including fever, were recorded by parents in a diary for three days following each injection. Blood was taken before the first immunisation and four weeks after the third immunisation to assess antibody response. Data were compared with those from historical controls who had received DTP and PRP-T vaccines by separate injection. The combined vaccine was well tolerated. Rates of local and general reactions were similar to those reported for infants immunised by separate injection. All infants achieved protective antibody titres (> 0.01 IU/ml) for diphtheria and tetanus; 98% acquired Hib (PRP) antibody > 0.15 microgram/ml and 82.5% > 1.0 microgram/ml. Pertussis antibody titres (pertussis toxin, filamentous haemagglutinin, total agglutinins, and agglutinins 2 and 3) showed appreciable rise following immunisation. DTP and PRP-T vaccines provide similar antibody responses and adverse effects whether mixed in the same syringe or administered by separate injection. The vaccines could be combined for use in the United Kingdom primary immunisation schedule.
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