The 1996 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards. Prevention of Systemic Infections, Especially Meningitis, Caused by Haemophilus Influenzae Type B. Impact on Public Health and Implications for Other Polysaccharide-Based Vaccines

JAMA. 1996 Oct 9;276(14):1181-5. doi: 10.1001/jama.276.14.1181.


The development of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines has led to the virtual elimination of systemic infections caused by that pathogen, has provided insights into the pathogenesis of and immunity to other capsulated bacteria, and has contributed to the development of new vaccines. Meningitis, a common and serious infection of children, and other infections caused by Hib have been virtually eliminated in countries that have achieved widespread vaccination with Hib conjugates, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Scandinavia, France, and Germany. Hib conjugates have also been shown to be highly effective in developing countries. The principles derived from the use of these vaccines, along with studies of other capsulated pathogens, should allow the rapid inclusion of new polysaccharide-based conjugates into routine vaccination schedules of infants, and should help to realize further reductions in serious systemic infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Awards and Prizes*
  • Bacterial Capsules / immunology
  • Bacterial Vaccines* / immunology
  • Clinical Medicine* / history
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Haemophilus Infections / prevention & control
  • Haemophilus Vaccines* / immunology*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / immunology*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Immunogenetics
  • Meningitis, Haemophilus / prevention & control
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology*
  • United States
  • Vaccines, Conjugate* / immunology


  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide vaccine
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Vaccines, Conjugate

Personal name as subject

  • J B Robbins
  • R Schneerson
  • P Anderson