The Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine helps protect against bacterial infections due to Hib Haemophilus influenzae Infections Haemophilus influenzae are gram-negative bacteria that can cause infection in the respiratory tract, which can spread to other organs. Infection is spread through sneezing, coughing,... read more , such as pneumonia Overview of Pneumonia Pneumonia is an infection of the small air sacs of the lungs (alveoli) and the tissues around them. Pneumonia is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. Often, pneumonia is the final... read more and meningitis Introduction to Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord (meninges) and of the fluid-filled space between the meninges (subarachnoid space). Meningitis can be... read more . These infections may be serious in children. Use of the vaccine has decreased the incidence of serious Hib infections in children by 99%. These infections are uncommon in adults with a healthy immune system and a functioning spleen.
Different formulations of the vaccine are available.
For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine information statement.
(See also Overview of Immunization Overview of Immunization Immunization enables the body to better defend itself against diseases caused by certain bacteria or viruses. Immunity (the ability of the body to defend itself against diseases caused by certain... read more .)
The Hib vaccine is given as an injection into a muscle. As a part of routine childhood vaccination Childhood Vaccination Schedule Most doctors follow the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC—see the schedule for infants and children and the schedule for older children... read more , doses are given at age 2 months and 4 months or at age 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months, depending on which formulation is used. In either case, a final dose is given at age 12 to 15 months (for a total of three or four doses).
All children should be vaccinated.
The Hib vaccine is also recommended for older children, adolescents, and adults who were not vaccinated and who are at increased risk of this infection, such as the following:
People who do not have a functioning spleen
People who have a weakened immune system (such as those with AIDS Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a viral infection that progressively destroys certain white blood cells and can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV is transmitted... read more )
People who have had chemotherapy for cancer
If people have a temporary illness, doctors usually wait to give the vaccine until the illness resolves (see also CDC: Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated With These Vaccines?).
Occasionally, the injection site becomes sore, swollen, and red. After being vaccinated, children may have a fever, cry, and be irritable.
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