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Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib) Vaccine

A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The Hib vaccine has a long track record of being very safe and effective.

It prevents meningitis (an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (lung infection), epiglottitis (a severe throat infection), and other serious infections caused by a type of bacteria called Haemophilus influenzae type b.

Hib Vaccine Safety Information

A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The Hib vaccine has a long track record of being very safe and effective.

Most people who get Hib vaccine do not have any problem with it.

Mild problems that may occur include:

  • Redness, warmth, or swelling where the shot was given (up to 1 out of 4 children).
  • Fever of 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 to 3 days.

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What you should look for

For any symptom more serious than the ones described above, consult your doctor/healthcare provider.

Look for any unusual conditions, such as a serious allergic reaction, high fever, or unusual behavior. Serious allergic reactions are extremely rare with any vaccine. If one were to occur, it would most likely be within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. Signs can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If a high fever or seizure were to occur, it would usually be within a week after the shot.

Summary of Recalled Hib Vaccine

For a recent report on the safety findings of recalled Hib vaccines, see Summary of Safety Assessment of Recalled Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) Conjugate Vaccines.

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What you should do

If you think that your child is having a problem following Hib vaccination, call a doctor or get your child to a doctor right away.

Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given. Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form. Or you can fill this report through the VAERS web site, or by calling 1-800-822-7967. VAERS does not provide medical advice.

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Related Scientific Articles

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continued shortage of Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines and potential implications for Hib surveillance—United States, 2008. MMWR 2008 Nov 21:57(46):1252-1255.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Interim recommendations for the use of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines related to the recall of certain lots of Hib-containing vaccines (PedvaxHib® and Comvax®) MMWR 2007 Dec 21:56(50);1318-1320.

Huang WT, Chang S, Miller ER, Jane Woo E, Hoffmaster AR, Gee JE, Clark TA, Iskander JK, Ball R, Broder KR. Safety assessment of recalled Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines--United States, 2007-2008. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2010 Mar:19(3);306-10.

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