Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) VIS
Current Edition Date: 12/16/1998
Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) Vaccine
Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) Vaccine
What You Need to Know
What is Hib disease?
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease is a serious disease caused by a bacteria. It usually strikes children under 5 years old.
Your child can get Hib disease by being around other children or adults who may have the bacteria and not know it. The germs spread from person to person. If the germs stay in the child’s nose and throat, the child probably will not get sick. But sometimes the germs spread into the lungs or the bloodstream, and then Hib can cause serious problems.
Before Hib vaccine, Hib disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under 5 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings, which can lead to lasting brain damage and deafness. Hib disease can also cause:
- severe swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe
- infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart
Before Hib vaccine, about 20,000 children in the United States under 5 years old got severe Hib disease each year and nearly 1,000 people died.
Hib vaccine can prevent Hib disease.
Many more children would get Hib disease if we stopped vaccinating.
Who should get Hib vaccine and when?
Children should get Hib vaccine at:
- 2 months of age
- 4 months of age
- 6 months of age*
- 12-15 months of age
*Depending on what brand of Hib vaccine is used, your child might not need the dose at 6 months of age. Your doctor will tell you if this dose is needed.
If you miss a dose or get behind schedule, get the next dose as soon as you can. There is no need to start over.
Hib vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Older children and adults
Children over 5 years old usually do not need Hib vaccine. But some older children or adults with special health conditions should get it. These conditions include sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS, removal of the spleen, bone marrow transplant, or cancer treatment with drugs. Ask your doctor for details.
Some people should not get Hib vaccine or should wait
- People who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of Hib vaccine should not get another dose.
- Children less than 6 weeks of age should not get Hib vaccine.
- People who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting Hib vaccine.
Ask your doctor for more information.
What are the risks from Hib vaccine?
A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of Hib vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small.
Most people who get Hib vaccine do not have any problems with it.
- Redness, warmth, or swelling where the shot was given (up to 1/4 of children)
- Fever over 101°F (up to 1 out of 20 children)
If these problems happen, they usually start within a day of vaccination. They may last 2-3 days.
What if there is a serious reaction?
What should I look for?
Look for anything that concerns you, such as signs of a severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes.
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.
What should I do?
- If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that can’t wait, call 9-1-1 or get the person to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.
- Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS website, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website.
How can I learn more?
- Ask your doctor.
- Contact your local or state health department.
- Contact the Centers for Disease Control and
- Call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
- Visit CDC's vaccines website
Vaccine Information Statement
42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26
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