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Protect Your Child against Hib Disease

Couple with baby

Make sure your child gets all doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine for protection against Hib disease. Hib bacteria can cause serious infections like meningitis (an infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord).

Vaccines prevent infections caused by bacteria called Haemophilus influenzae, specifically type b or Hib. CDC recommends Hib vaccination for all children younger than 5 years old. Hib vaccines protect young children when they are at highest risk of getting Hib disease and having serious complications.

There are two types of Hib vaccine for children. With one vaccine, your child gets doses at 2, 4, and 6 months old. With the other vaccine, your child gets doses at 2 and 4 months old. With both vaccines, children need one booster shot when they are 12 through 15 months old.

Call your child’s doctor if you have questions and to make sure your child received all of the recommended doses.

Mother cuddilng with baby

All children should get the full series of Hib shots as babies and need one booster shot when they are 12 through 15 months old.

Hib Vaccines Work

Before Hib vaccines, about 20,000 young children got severe Hib disease each year in the United States. Because of vaccines, there are now fewer than 50 cases of severe Hib disease each year in the United States. Most of these cases are in children who did not get any or all recommended doses of Hib vaccine.

Despite the success of Hib vaccine, Hib bacteria are still out there. Hib disease could make a comeback if the number of vaccinated people gets too low in the United States.

Hib Vaccines Are Safe

Most children who get a Hib vaccine do not have any problems with it. With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and get better on their own in a few days. Mild side effects can include fever or redness, warmth, or swelling where the doctor gave the shot.

Hib Disease Can Cause Deadly Infections

Hib bacteria can cause severe disease, including deadly infections such as:

  • Meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)
  • Epiglottitis (swelling in the throat)
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)

Other forms of severe Hib disease include bloodstream, skin, and joint infections.

People Spread Hib Bacteria to Others

People spread Hib bacteria to others through respiratory droplets. When someone who has the bacteria in their nose or throat coughs or sneezes, they create respiratory droplets in the air that contain the bacteria. Other people then breathe in the bacteria. Even people who are not sick can have the bacteria in their noses and throats and spread the bacteria.

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