The combination of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines into a single product has been central to the protection of the pediatric population over the past 50 years. The addition of inactivated polio, Haemophilus influenzae, and hepatitis B vaccines into the combination has facilitated the introduction of these vaccines into recommended immunization schedules by reducing the number of injections required and has therefore increased immunization compliance. However, the development of these combinations encountered numerous challenges, including the reduced response to Haemophilus influenzae vaccine when given in combination; the need to consolidate the differences in the immunization schedule (hepatitis B); and the need to improve the safety profile of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis combination. Here, we review these challenges and also discuss future prospects for combination vaccines.
Keywords: Adjuvant; Combination vaccine; Diphtheria; Haemophilus influenza; Hepatitis B; Neisseria meningitidis; Pertussis; Poliovirus; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Tetanus.