Three or four doses of the Hib vaccine are recommended for children to prevent serious infections with the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). The vaccines may be combined with immunizations against other diseases, such as DTaP, Polio/IPV, or Hepatitis B.
Why get vaccinated?
What are Hib vaccine names?
What is the immunization schedule for Hib disease?
Who gets the Hib vaccine?
Who should not get the Hib vaccine?
How many shots do I need?
What are common side effects?
What are severe side effects of Hib vaccines?
Where can I get more information?
The Hib vaccine is an immunization against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacterial infections. The vaccine may be given either in 3 or 4 doses, depending on the type of vaccine. Each shot is given at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months old. Older people generally do not need Hib vaccines.
The vaccine can prevent Hib disease. Before the vaccine, about 20,000 children the United States got Hib disease and 3-6% of them suffered permanent brain damage, deafness, or death.
Hib disease may not cause any symptoms if the bacteria stays in the nose and throat. If it spreads to other parts of the body, Hib disease can cause devastating complications.
Some of the most severe complications of Hib disease include meningitis (brain and spinal cord inflammation), pneumonia (lung infection), breathing problems due to severe throat swelling, bloodstream infections, endocarditis (heart infection), and death.
Hib vaccine names include:
- PRP-T Hib Vaccines
- Hiberix (booster dose only)
- PRP-OMP Hib Vaccines
Three of these Hib vaccines are combined with immunizations against other diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio/IPV, hepatitis b, or meningitis. These combination Hib vaccines are:
- Pentacel (DTaP-IPV/Hib)
- Comvax (Hepatitis B-Hib)
- MenHibrix (Hib-MenCY)
The HbPV vaccine, PRP-D vaccine (ProHIBIT), HbOC vaccine (HibTITER) and a combination vaccine called TriHiBit are no longer available in the United States.
|Type||Vaccine||2 months||4 months||6 months||12-15 months|
|PRP-T||ActHIB||X (1st)||X (2nd)||X (3rd)||X|
|Pentacel||X (1st)||X (2nd)||X (3rd)||X|
|MenHibrix||X (1st)||X (2nd)||X (3rd)||X|
|PRP-OMP||PedvaxHIB||X (1st)||X (2nd)||—||X|
|COMVAX||X (1st)||X (2nd)||—||X|
The recommended age for the 4th dose of Pentacel is 15-18 months, but it can be given as early as 12 months, provided at least 6 months have elapsed since the 3rd dose.
Hiberix is approved only for the last dose of the Hib series among children 12 months of age and older. The recommended age is 15 months, but to facilitate timely booster vaccination it may be given as early as 12 months.
The recommended age for the 4th dose of MenHibrix is 12-18 months.
Hib vaccines are generally recommended for all infants, including those born prematurely, beginning at 2 months of age.
Hib vaccines may also be recommended for older children or adults with asplenia (no spleen), sickle cell disease, before surgery to remove the spleen, after bone marrow transplants, or people with HIV.
Hib vaccines should NOT be given to infants under 6 weeks of age, anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous Hib vaccine or any other ingredient in the vaccine.
People who are moderately or severely sick should probably wait until they get better before receiving the vaccine.
Three or four shots, depending on the type of vaccine. Unvaccinated children over 7 months old may not require a full series of 3 or 4 shots.
Two shots are needed for PRP-OMP vaccines like PedvaxHIB or Comvax. Three shots are needed for PRP-T vaccines like ActHIB, Pentacel, or MenHibrix. A booster shot is recommended at 12-15 months regardless of which vaccine is used for the primary series.
Most people who get the Hib vaccine do not have any serious side effects. The most common problems are low-grade fever and mild injection-site reactions like redness, warmth, or swelling. These side effects begin soon after the shot and last for 2 or 3 days.
Swelling, redness, or pain have been reported in 5%-30% of recipients and usually resolve within 12-24 hours. Systemic reactions such as fever and irritability are infrequent. Serious reactions are rare.
To learn more about the side effects associated with Hib vaccines, please visit this page: Hib Vaccine Side Effects.
There is a low risk of the Hib vaccine causing severe side effects or death. The risk of severe side effects depends on the type of vaccine.
Severe allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylaxis) occur in fewer than 1 in a million doses of the vaccine. The symptoms may include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness within a few minutes or hours of the vaccine.
Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) is another rare but serious side effect that occurs when the vaccine needle punctures tendons, ligaments, or the bursa in the shoulder. It can cause permanent weakness, pain, limited movement, or disability.