About Hib Vaccines

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed 5 Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines for use in the United States. Two are combination vaccines. Learn about the types, composition, immunogenicity, and efficacy of these vaccines, as well as view package inserts, below.

Types and Composition of Hib Vaccines

FDA categorizes Hib vaccine as a polysaccharide conjugate vaccine, which is a type of inactivated bacterial vaccine. Manufacturers make it by joining a piece of the polysaccharide capsule that surrounds the Hib bacterium to a protein carrier. This joining process is called conjugation. Conjugating a protein carrier to a piece of the polysaccharide capsule from a Hib bacterium creates an effective vaccine. The vaccines use different carrier proteins. All of the vaccines are highly effective against Hib bacteria for people who receive a complete primary series.

Pink Book
Pink Book.

The “Pink Book” contains the most comprehensive information on routinely used vaccines and the diseases they prevent.

Six reference appendices include: vaccine minimum ages and intervals, current and discontinued vaccines, vaccine contents, foreign vaccine terms, and more.

View online or download.

Monovalent Vaccines

In the United States, FDA licensed 3 monovalent conjugate Hib vaccines. You can use them in infants as young as 6 weeks of age.

  • ActHIB® (PRP-T)
  • Hiberix® (PRP-T)
  • PedvaxHIB® (PRP-OMB)

Combination Vaccines

At some ages, a child needs to receive several different recommended vaccines simultaneously. Manufacturers created combination vaccines to decrease the number of injections needed to give these recommended vaccines at the same time. There are 2 licensed combination vaccines that contain Hib vaccine: Pentacel® and Vaxelis.

  • Pentacel® contains lyophilized ActHIB® that is reconstituted with a liquid DTaP/IPV solution. FDA approved Pentacel® for all doses of the Hib childhood series (3-dose primary series plus booster dose).
  • Vaxelis contains Pentacel®, except with PedvaxHIB® for the Hib component, and Recombivax HB®. FDA approved Vaxelis for doses 1 through 3 of the Hib primary series. It should not be used for the booster dose.

Immunogenicity and Vaccine Efficacy

Hib conjugate vaccines are highly effective in producing immunity to Hib bacteria. More than 95% of infants develop protective antibody levels after receiving a primary series of 2 or 3 doses. Invasive Hib disease in a completely vaccinated infant is not common. Although Hib vaccines provide long-lasting immunity, experts do not know the exact duration of immunity.

Hib vaccine is immunogenic in patients with increased risk for invasive disease, including people with:

  • Sickle-cell disease
  • Leukemia
  • HIV infection
  • A splenectomy

However, in persons with HIV infection, immunogenicity varies with stage of infection and degree of immunocompromise. Researchers have not performed efficacy studies in populations with increased risk of invasive disease.

Package Inserts

Consult the following package inserts for proper storage and handing details, shelf life, and reconstitution instructions:

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