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Hib Quick Facts

Quick Facts About Haemophilus Influena Type B (Hib)

Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib)

  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) is a bacterial infection that can cause severe illnesses in children, including meningitis, epiglottitis, pneumonia, arthritis, and cellulitis.
  • Meningitis caused by Hib is an infection of the membranes covering the brain.
  • Hib is spread through person-to-person transmission, mostly through the air. It’s often found in the respiratory tracts of adults with no symptoms or adverse effects. Hib has to get into the bloodstream for it to cause meningitis or severe infections of the bones and joints.
  • Hib is mostly a disease of young children under the age of 5 years old. Before the vaccine was introduced in the U.S., children who became sick from Hib were usually under 2 years old, and mostly between 6 and 7 months old.
  • In general, Hib disease is not considered very contagious. Before the vaccine most children acquired natural immunity to Hib by the time they were 5 or 6 years old.

 Hib Vaccine

  • There are six different Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines available in the U.S., including two for infants as young as 6 weeks old; one to be used only as the last dose for children ages 12 months and older. The five vaccines are: ActHIB; Hiberix; PedvaxHIB; Comvax, Pentacel and Menhibrix.
  • As of September 1, 2015, there had been 233 claims filed in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) for injuries and deaths following HIB vaccination, including 29 deaths and 204 serious injuries.
  • Using the MedAlerts search engine, as of September 30, 2015 there had been 15,264 serious adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with HIB vaccines since 1990. Over 95% of those serious HIB vaccine-related adverse events occurring in children four years old and under. Of these hib-vaccine related adverse event reports to VAERS 2,251 were deaths, with 97% of the deaths occurring in children under four years of age.
  • Health officials admit that it’s difficult to know from clinical trial results exactly what kind adverse reactions to look for after your child gets a Hib vaccine because children in the clinical trials were given other vaccines at the same time they were given the experimental Hib vaccine.  Administration of more than one vaccine at a time also makes it difficult to determine which vaccines might have been responsible for certain adverse reactions reported in the clinical studies and to VAERS.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Vaccine Reaction Symptoms & Ingredients

Our Ask 8, If You Vaccinate webpage contains vaccine reaction symptoms and more. Calculate vaccine ingredients for potential toxic exposures & print a vaccination plan with the Vaccine Ingredients Calculator.

Search for Vaccine Reactions
NVIC hosts MedAlerts, a powerful VAERS database search engine. MedAlerts examines symptoms, reactions, vaccines, dates, places, and more.

Reporting a Vaccine Reaction

Since 1982 the NVIC has operated a Vaccine Reaction Registry, which has served as a watchdog on VAERS. Reporting vaccine reactions to VAERS is the law. If your doctor will not report a reaction, you have the right to report a suspected vaccine reaction to VAERS.VAERS is the law. If your doctor will not report a reaction, you have the right to report a suspected vaccine reaction to VAERS. 
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
CDC on Hib Disease
CDC on Hib Vaccination 
Hib Vaccine Information Statement

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib) and the Hib vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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