Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Vaccine
What Is Hib Disease?
Haemophilus influenzae type B, or Hib, is a bacteria that can cause infections. Hib disease usually occurs in children under 5 years old. It can lead to:
- Swelling in the throat
- Other types of infections
People can carry Hib bacteria and not know it. These germs can spread from person to person.
Symptoms may be:
- 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 to 15 months
Some children may only need 3 doses. This depends on which brand the doctor uses.
If a dose is missed, talk to the doctor. They can create a catch up plan.
The vaccine may be given to children 5 years old or older if they have not had it before. It may also be given if the child has certain conditions. Examples are:
What Are the Risks Associated With the Hib Vaccine?
Most people will not have any problems from the Hib vaccine. The most common side effects are redness, warmth, or swelling near the injection site. Some may have a fever as well.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?
Most should receive their vaccinations on schedule. However, vaccination risks may outweigh the benefits for some such as:
- Children younger than 6 weeks old
- Those who have had a serious allergic reaction to a prior Hib vaccine
- Those with a moderate to severe illness— they may need to wait until they are better
What Other Ways Can Hib Disease Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?
Sometimes unvaccinated infants and young children are exposed to Hib. In certain cases, they may be given antibiotics.
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
If an outbreak happens, public health officials will determine who is at risk. They will vaccinate people.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
American Academy of Pediatrics
Vaccines & Immunizations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Allali S, Chalumeau M, et al. Conjugate haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines for sickle cell disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;8(8):CD011199.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hib.html. Accessed April 6, 2021.
Immunizations in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/prevention/immunizations-in-children-and-adolescents. Accessed on April 6, 2021.
Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. Accessed April 6, 2021.
Vaccine information statements. Immunization Action Coalition website. Available at: http://www.immunize.org/vis. Accessed April 6, 2021.
Vaccine safety and the importance of immunization. New York State Department of Health website. Available at: https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization. Accessed April 6, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP Last Updated: 4/6/2021