Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib) vaccine

ADAM Health 4 minute read November 4, 2019

All content below is taken in its entirety from the CDC Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b) Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hib.pdf. Canadian content has been added.

CDC review information for Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b) VIS:

  • Page last reviewed: October 29, 2019
  • Page last updated: October 30, 2019
  • Issue date of VIS: October 30, 2019

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases


Why get vaccinated?

Hib vaccine can prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease.

Haemophilus influenzae type b can cause many different kinds of infections. These infections usually affect children under 5 years of age, but can also affect adults with certain medical conditions. Hib bacteria can cause mild illness, such as ear infections or bronchitis, or they can cause severe illness, such as infections of the bloodstream. Severe Hib infection, also called invasive Hib disease, requires treatment in a hospital and can sometimes result in death.

Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can lead to brain damage and deafness.

Hib infection can also cause:

  • Pneumonia
  • Severe swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe
  • Infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart
  • Death

Hib vaccine

Hib vaccine is usually given as 3 or 4 doses (depending on brand). Hib vaccine may be given as a stand-alone vaccine, or as part of a combination vaccine (a type of vaccine that combines more than one vaccine together into one shot).

Infants will usually get their first dose of Hib vaccine at 2 months of age and will usually complete the series at 12 to 23 months of age.

Children between 12 to 15 months and 5 years of age who have not previously been completely vaccinated against Hib may need 1 or more doses of Hib vaccine.

Children over 5 years old and adults usually do not receive Hib vaccine, but it might be recommended for older children or adults with asplenia or sickle cell disease, before surgery to remove the spleen, or following a bone marrow transplant. Hib vaccine may also be recommended for people 5 to 18 years old with HIV.

Hib vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of Hib vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.

In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone Hib vaccination to a future visit.

People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting Hib vaccine.

Your provider can give you more information.

Risks of a vaccine reaction

Redness or pain where the shot is given, feeling tired, fever, or muscle aches can happen after getting the Hib vaccine.

People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.

What if there is a serious problem?

An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 911 and get the person to the nearest hospital.

For other signs that concern you, call your provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to Health Canada at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/reporting-adverse-events-following-immunization/form.html.

How can I learn more?


Vaccine information statement: Hib vaccine (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hib.pdf. Updated October 30, 2019. Accessed November 1, 2019.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) vaccine. www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hib.html. Updated October 30, 2019. Accessed November 1, 2019.

National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (2006). Recommended immunization. In Canadian Immunization Guide, 7th ed. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada. Also available online: http://publications.gc.ca.

Haemophilus influenzae Type B vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide. Health Canada website, 2015. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/canadian-immunization-guide-part-4-active-vaccines/page-5-haemophilus-influenzae-type-b-vaccine.html. Accessed Feb 23, 2020.

Reporting adverse events following immunization in Canada. Health Canada website. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/reporting-adverse-events-following-immunization/form.html. Accessed Feb 23, 2020.

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