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There's a vaccine that can prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease, but not the other types ("strains") of Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. See Vaccination.

Hib vaccine is recommended for all children younger than 5 years of age in the United States and it is usually given to infants starting at 2 months of age. In certain situations, patients at increased risk for invasive Hib disease who are fully vaccinated need additional doses of Hib vaccine and unimmunized older children, adolescents, and adults with certain specified medical conditions should receive Hib vaccine.

There are no vaccines to prevent against the other types of Haemophilus influenzae.

View immunization schedules for children and adults.

Hib: Unprotected Story

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This photograph showed an infant being held by his mother while receiving an intramuscular vaccination in his left thigh muscle. A qualified nurse was administering the vaccination while stabilizing the injection site.

A child with Haemophilus influenzae disease, including Hib, may not develop protective levels of antibodies. This means that someone could develop a Haemophilus influenzae infection again. Children younger than 24 months of age who have recovered from invasive Hib disease should not be considered protected and should receive Hib vaccine as soon as possible.

Antibiotic Prophylaxis

Sometimes Haemophilus influenzae bacteria spread to other people who have had close or lengthy contact with a patient with Haemophilus influenzae disease. In certain cases, people in close contact with that patient should receive antibiotics to prevent them from getting the disease. This is known as prophylaxis. A doctor or local health department will make recommendations for who should receive prophylaxis.

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