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Your Child's Immunizations: Hib Vaccine


Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria (Hib) were the leading cause of meningitis in children younger than 5 years old until the Hib vaccine became available.

Immunization Schedule

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 infectionchemotherapy 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.

Why the Vaccine Is Recommended

The vaccine provides long-term protection from Haemophilus influenzae type b. Those who are 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 — can happen. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine.

When to Delay or Avoid Immunization

The vaccine is not recommended if your child:

Caring for Your Child After Immunization

The vaccine may cause mild soreness and redness in the area where the shot was given. For pain and fever, check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and to find out the appropriate dose.

When to Call the Doctor

Date reviewed: February 2017


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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