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Growth and Development

Your Child's Immunizations: Hib Vaccine

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Lea este articulo en EspanolHaemophilus influenzae type b bacteria 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:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months (however, some of the Hib vaccines do not require a dose at 6 months)
  • a booster dose at 12-15 months

Kids ages 15 months or older who are receiving the vaccine for the first time only need one dose. The vaccine is not routinely recommended for kids older than age 5, unless they have a weakened immune system due to conditions like cancer, HIV infection, or asplenia.

Why the Vaccine Is Recommended

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.

Possible Risks

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.

When to Delay or Avoid Immunization

The vaccine is not recommended if your child:

  • is currently sick, although simple colds or other minor illnesses should not prevent immunization
  • had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous Hib vaccine

Caring for Your Child After Immunization

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.

When to Call the Doctor

  • Call if you aren't sure whether the vaccine should be postponed or avoided.
  • Call if moderate or serious adverse reactions appear after the Hib injection.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2013

License

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

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

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