Vaccines to Prevent Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B)

Haemophilus influenzae type b or Hib is a serious disease caused by bacteria. It usually affects children under 5 years old, but can also affect adults with certain medical conditions.

Updated: December 7, 2017

It is important that children, especially infants and young children, receive recommended immunizations on time.  Vaccines also protect teenagers and adults to keep them healthy throughout their lives.
Haemophilus influenzae type b or Hib is a serious disease caused by bacteria.  It usually affects children under 5 years old, but can also affect adults with certain medical conditions.
Hib is contagious and the germs spread from person to person when you are around other children or adults who may have the bacteria. The child probably will not get sick if  the germs stay in the nose and throat of the child. But, if the germs spread into the lungs or the bloodstream, then Hib can cause serious problems called invasive Hib disease.
Hib disease can cause:
  • Meningitis, an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord which can lead to brain damage and deafness.
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe
  • Infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart
  • Death
Hib vaccine can prevent Hib disease.

Hib Vaccine:

Several different brands of Hib vaccine are available. Depending on which vaccine is used, the number of dose can be 3 or 4.
The recommended doses of Hib vaccine are usually given as below:
  • First Dose can be given at the age of 2 months
  • Second Dose, at the age of 4 months
  • Third Dose is usually given at the age of 6 months if needed, depending on brand of vaccine
  • Final or the Booster Dose is given at 12 to 15 months of age
Hib vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Hib vaccine may be given as part of a combination vaccine. Two or more types of vaccine are combined together into a single shot to make a combination vaccines, so that one vaccination can protect against more than one disease.
Usually Hib vaccine is not required for children over 5 years old and adults. But children above 5 years of age and adults with certain medical conditions require this vaccine.
The conditions for which Hib vaccine is recommended are:
  • asplenia or sickle cell disease
  • before surgery to remove the spleen
  • following a bone marrow transplant
  • HIV
You can get more information from your doctor or the person giving you the vaccine.

You should not get Hepatitis A vaccine if:

  • you ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of Hib vaccine, or have a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine
  • you are moderately or severely ill. You should probably wait until you recover.

Risks of Hepatitis A vaccine:

There are chances of side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Serious reactions are also possible but are rare.
Some of the mild Problems following Hib vaccine include:
  •     redness, warmth, or swelling where the shot was given
  •     fever
Usually these problems begin soon after the shot and last 2 to 3 days. You can get more information about the reaction from your doctor.

Problems that could happen after any vaccine:

  • Sometimes people faint after vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting. If you feel dizzy, have vision changes or ringing in the ears, speak to your doctor.
  • In some cases severe pain in the shoulder and difficulty moving the arm where a shot was given could happen.
  • A severe allergic reaction would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
  • There is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death. The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. You can get all the information from Vaccine Safety site.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. If you have severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes , call 9-1-1 or find the nearest hospital.
The reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) through the VAERS website or by calling 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
If you are injured by a vaccine, you can file a claim in  National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website to get the compensation.

Learn more about Vaccine:

Your doctor can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
You can call your local or state health department or can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by:
        Calling 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
        Visiting  CDC vaccines website


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