Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine is given to protect people from becoming
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria. The
vaccine contains small amounts of weakened bacteria and is given as a shot
(injection). This helps your body make chemicals called
antibodies that can then recognize and destroy Hib
bacteria if you are exposed to it later.
Hib disease can cause
pneumonia, skin and bone infections, and other serious
illnesses in young children. It usually causes problems for children younger
than age 5. (It does not cause the flu.)
Hib vaccine is given to
protect people from becoming infected with Hib bacteria.
child can get Hib disease by being around other children or adults who have the
infection and do not know it. The germs spread from person to person. If the
germs stay in your child's nose and throat, your child will probably not get
sick. But sometimes the germs cause serious problems when they spread into your
child's lungs or blood.
The National Advisory Committee on
Immunization (NACI) recommends that all children should be immunized against
Hib at 2, 4 and 6 months with a fourth dose at 18 months.footnote 1 The Hib vaccine may be combined with other vaccines so
children only have to receive one shot (known as the 5-in-1, or 6-in-1
You can keep track of when your child received vaccines
National Childhood Immunization Record(What is a PDF document?).
than age 5 usually do not need Hib vaccine. Some older children and adults may
need the shot if they also have other health problems, such as
sickle cell disease,
AIDS. The Hib shot may also be needed if your child
has had surgery to remove his or her
stem cell transplant, or is being treated for
In the early 1990s, Hib was the most
common cause of bacterial meningitis in Canada. Hib can be prevented by the Hib
vaccine. Since the Hib vaccine became available in 1992, the number of cases in
Canada has decreased by more than 70%.
Hib vaccine is a safe medicine. Side
effects are usually mild and may include:
serious allergic reactions are rare with this
medicine, call your doctor or public health unit right away if you or your
child has trouble breathing, a high fever, or anything unusual after having the
A child who has had a severe allergic reaction to a previous
dose of Hib vaccine should not get another dose. Tell your doctor or nurse if
you child has had a severe reaction to any vaccine or has severe
Children that are younger than 6 weeks old should not
get the shot until they are older.
See Drug Reference for a full
list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
People that are sick at the time
that the shot is scheduled should wait until they are feeling better before
having the shot.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (2006). Recommended immunization. In Canadian Immunization Guide, 7th ed. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada. Also available online: http://publications.gc.ca.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsBrian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerWilliam Atkinson, MD, MPH - Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & William Atkinson, MD, MPH - & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.