Hib - vaccine

Alternative names
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine; Vaccine - Hib; Haemophilus influenzae B conjugate vaccine


This vaccine (immunization) prevents childhood Haemophilus influenza B infections, which can cause a severe and potentially fatal illness.


The Hib vaccine is highly effective for the prevention of diseases caused by Hib, which are serious, potentially fatal diseases of childhood.

Haemophilus b conjugate vaccine is one of the recommended childhood immunizations. Generally, states require proof that a child has received the vaccine prior to entry into daycare or preschool.

  • Infants and toddlers should receive injections of the vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months of age.  
  • Children over 5 years of age and adults do not need to receive immunization for Haemophilus influenzae type b unless they have certain medical conditions, including HIV, sickle cell disease, and some others - consult with your doctor about whether this applies to your child if he/she has not been vaccinated.

Hib vaccine has been a great public health success story. The vast majority of infants receiving 3 doses of the Hib vaccine gain long-term protection against the illnesses caused by Haemophilus b bacteria. These illnesses include meningitis, pneumonia, and infections of the blood, bones, and joints. Serious Haemophilus b infections are most common in children 6 to 12 months old, but may also occur in older children.

Most infants who receive the Hib vaccine will have no associated problems. Others may have minor problems, such as soreness and redness at the injection site or a mild fever. Serious problems associated with receiving the immunization are rare and are mainly allergic reactions to vaccine components.


  • If the child is ill, with something more serious than a cold, immunizations may be delayed.  
  • If severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis occurs after an injection of the Hib vaccine, no further Haemophilus b immunization should be given to the child.  
  • There are no other specific contraindications to the Hib vaccine for infants or young children except the Hib vaccine should not be given to children less than 6 weeks of age.

Watch for and be familiar with how to treat minor side effects, such as injection site tenderness or low-grade fever.


  • uncertain if the Haemophilus b vaccine should be delayed, withheld, or given to a specific infant.  
  • moderate or serious adverse effects appear after the Hib injection has been given.  
  • there are any questions or concerns related to the Haemophilus b immunization.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Martin A. Harms, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.