Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria were the leading cause of meningitis in children younger than 5 years old until the Hib vaccine became available.
The Hib vaccine is given by injection at ages:
Kids ages 15 months or older who are receiving the vaccine for the first time only need one dose.
Children ages 12 months to 59 months (almost 5 years old) may need additional doses if their immune systems are weakened due to things like asplenia (when the spleen is missing or not working properly), HIV infection, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, or a stem cell transplant.
The vaccine is not routinely recommended for kids older than 5, unless they have HIV or asplenia and have never been vaccinated.
The vaccine provides long-term protection from Haemophilus influenzae type b. 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.
Minor problems, such as redness, swelling, or tenderness where the shot was given, may occur. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine.
The vaccine is not recommended if your child:
The vaccine may cause mild soreness and redness in the area where the shot was given. Depending on your child's age, 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.
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2014
|National Immunization Program This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522|
|Immunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.|
|CDC: Pre-teen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, pre-teens, and health care providers about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.|
|The History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.|
|Your Child's Immunizations Immunizations protect your child from potentially fatal diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.|
|What Can I Do to Ease My Child's Fear of Shots? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|How Can I Comfort My Baby During Shots? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Meningitis Meningitis is a serious illness that affects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Meningitis You may be wondering what the deal is with meningitis because you've heard frightening stuff about meningitis outbreaks in the news.|
|5 Tips for Surviving Shots If you're afraid of shots, you're not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips.|
|A Kid's Guide to Shots If you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids.|
|Immunization Schedule Which vaccines does your child need to receive and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.|
|Immunizations Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems.|
|Meningitis Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord) is treatable, but can be serious. So it's important to know the symptoms and get prompt diagnosis and treatment.|
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