Hib Vaccine

Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria were the leading cause of meningitis in children until the Hib vaccine became available.

Immunization Schedule

The Hib vaccine is given by injection at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months (however, some of the Hib vaccines do not require a dose at 6 months). A booster dose is given at 12 to 15 months.

Why the Vaccine Is Recommended

Long-term protection from Haemophilus influenzae type b occurs in more than 90% of infants receiving three doses of the vaccine. Those immunized have protection against Hib meningitis, pneumonia, pericarditis (an infection of the membrane covering the heart), and infections of the blood, bones, and joints caused by the bacteria.

Possible Risks

Minor problems, such as redness, swelling, or tenderness where the shot was given, may occur.

When to Delay or Avoid Immunization

  • if your child is currently sick, although simple colds or other minor illnesses should not prevent immunization
  • if severe allergic reaction occurs after an injection of the Hib vaccine, further Hib immunizations may not be given to your child

Caring for Your Child After Immunization

The vaccine may cause mild soreness and redness in the area where the shot was given. Depending on the age of your child, pain and fever may be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either medication, and to find out the appropriate dose.

When to Call the Doctor

  • if you aren't sure whether the vaccine should be postponed or avoided
  • if moderate or serious adverse reactions appear after the Hib injection