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Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Vaccine

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The more you know about your health, the better prepared you are to make informed healthcare decisions. Our health library gives you the information you need to take charge of your health.

What Is Hib Disease?

Haemophilus influenzae type B, or Hib, is a bacteria that can cause infections. It usually occurs in children under five years old. Hib can lead to:

People can carry Hib bacteria and not know it. These germs can spread from person to person. They usually spread through droplets from an infected person. Sickness will probably not occur when the germs stay in the nose and throat. They can cause serious problems when they spread into the lungs or the bloodstream.

Before the vaccine, severe Hib disease affected about 20,000 United States children under age five.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Other symptoms, depending on the part of the body affected

What Is the Hib Vaccine?

The Hib vaccine is made from inactive parts of the bacteria. It is injected into the muscle.

Who Should Be Vaccinated and When?

In general, children should get doses at:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12-15 months

In some cases, your child may only need three doses. This depends on which brand the doctor uses.

If a dose is missed, talk to the doctor. There are different catch-up schedules depending on the brand and your child's age.

This vaccine is not routinely recommended for children aged five years. However, it may be given if your child was not vaccinated before and your child has certain conditions, such as:

What Are the Risks Associated With the Hib Vaccine?

Like any vaccine, the Hib vaccine can cause serious problems, such as a severe allergic reaction. Most people do not have any problems. Some people have redness, warmth, or swelling near the injection site, as well as a fever.

Acetaminophen is sometimes given to reduce pain and fever that may occur after getting a vaccine. In infants, the medication may weaken the vaccine. Discuss the risks and benefits of taking acetaminophen with the doctor.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?

The following people should not get the vaccine:

  • Children younger than six weeks
  • People who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of Hib vaccine
  • People who are moderately to severely ill (They need to wait until they have recovered.)

What Other Ways Can Hib Disease Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?

Antibiotics may be given to certain infants and young children who have not been vaccinated and have been exposed to the disease.

What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?

In the event of an outbreak, public health officials will determine who is at risk and vaccinate people.

Revision Information

  • WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

  • Immunization

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    http://www.cispimmunize.org

  • Vaccines & Immunizations

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines

  • Baker CJ, Pickerling LK, et al. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Recommended adult immunization schedule: United States, 2011. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(3):168-173.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years—United States, 2011. MMWR. 2011;60(5).

  • Type B (Hib) vaccine. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hib.html. Published February 4, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.

  • Vaccine information statements. Immunization Action Coalition website. Available at: http://www.immunize.org/vis. Accessed September 29, 2014.

  • Vaccine safety and the importance of immunization. New York State Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.state.ny.us/prevention/immunization/recommendations/children.htm. Updated June 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.

  • 1/31/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years—United States, 2008. MMWR. 2008;57;Q1-Q4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5701a8.htm. Updated January 10, 2008. Accessed September 29, 2014.

  • 9/25/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Licensure of a haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine (Hiberix) and updated recommendations for use of Hib vaccine. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009;58:1008.

  • 10/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Prymula R, Siegrist C, et al. Effect of prophylactic paracetamol administration at time of vaccination on febrile reactions and antibody responses in children: two open-label, randomised controlled trials. Lancet. 2009;374(9698):1339.

  • 2/10/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Bridges C, Coyne-Beasley T. Advistory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedules for adults aged 19 years or older: United States, 2014. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(3):190-197.