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Haemophilus Influenza Type B (HIB) Disease & Vaccine Information

Find the Information You Need to Make Informed Vaccine Decisions

HIB: The Disease

Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) is an invasive bacterial infection spread by airborne droplets through sneezing or coughing, or by direct contact with secretions or fomites. Hib can cause severe illness, including meningitis and systemic, invasive disease in the bones and joints and mostly affects infants and children under the age of six. The most common symptoms of severe Hib infection are fever and altered central nervous system function. Less common symptoms can be osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, pericarditis, orbital cellulitis, endophthalmitis, urinary tract infection, abscesses, and bacteremia. Learn more about Hib

HIB Vaccine

The first Haemophilis influenza type b vaccine was licensed in 1987 and currently there are a total of six vaccines licensed for distribution in the U.S. Two conjugate Hib vaccines are licensed for use in the U.S. for infants as young as 6 weeks old. A third is approved only for the last dose of Hib among children ages 12 months and older. Three combination vaccines that contain Hib conjugate vaccine are also available.

None of the Hib vaccines protect against any other types of Haemophilus infection than type b. They also do not protect against meningitis caused by any other bacteria. It is not known whether Hib vaccine protects against ear infections. Learn more about HIB vaccine…

HIB Quick Facts


  • 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.
  • 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. Continue reading quick facts

HIB Vaccine

  • As of 2014, the CDC recommends infants receive Hib vaccine between 2 to 6 months of age with an additional booster dose between 12 and 15 months 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. Continue reading quick facts...

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