Haemophilus influenzae

Haemophilus lnfluenzae Type B (Hib, Haemophilus b)

Haemophilus influenzae

Last Reviewed: January 2014

  • Meningitis por H. influenzae – Medline Plus Información de Salud para Usted

What is Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease?

Hib is a bacterial illness that can lead to a potentially deadly brain infection in young children. Hib may cause diseases such as meningitis (inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal column), bloodstream infections, pneumonia, arthritis and infections of other parts of the body.

Who gets Hib disease?

Hib disease can occur at any age. Before the development of a vaccine, Hib was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children less than five years of age.

Since the introduction in 1988 and the widespread use of the Hib vaccine, the number of new cases of Hib disease in infants and young children decreased by 99 percent to fewer that one case per 100,000 children younger than five years of age.

Now, Hib is seen more commonly in the elderly, unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated children, and people with a weakened immune system.

How is Hib disease spread?

Hib disease may be transmitted through contact with mucus or droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person.

What are the symptoms of Hib disease?

Symptoms may include fever, lethargy, vomiting and a stiff neck. Other symptoms depend upon the part of the body affected.

How soon do symptoms appear?

The incubation period for Hib disease is unknown, but is probably less than one week.

What are the possible complications associated with Hib disease?

If Hib meningitis occurs, death occurs in one 20 children and permanent brain damage in ten to 30 percent of the survivors.

What is the treatment for Hib disease?

Antibiotics, such as cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, or ampicillin with chloramphenicol, are generally used to treat serious infections. Rifampin is used in some circumstances as preventive treatment for persons who have been exposed to Hib disease.

When and for how long is a person able to spread Hib disease?

The period of time a person is able to spread the disease varies. Unless treated, it may be transmitted for as long as the organism is present in the nose and throat, even after symptoms have disappeared.

Does past infection with Hib disease make a person immune?

Children who had Hib disease when younger than 24 months of age may be at risk of getting Hib disease again. Children and adults who had Hib disease at 24 months of age or older are ly to be immune.

Is there a vaccine for Hib disease?

There are currently several Hib vaccines licensed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for routine use in children.

Immunization authorities recommend that all children be immunized with an approved Hib vaccine beginning at two months of age.

Recommendations for scheduling of subsequent doses vary depending on the manufacturer. Therefore, it is important to consult with your physician.

Some older children and adults with special conditions are at an increased risk for infection with Hib and should be vaccinated if they were not vaccinated in childhood. These conditions include sickle cell disease, removal of the spleen, bone marrow transplant, cancer treatment with drugs that weaken the immune system, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In New York State, Hib vaccine is required for all children enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs.

What can be done to prevent the spread of Hib disease?

The single most important preventive measure is to maintain a high level of immunization in the community. Rifampin, an antibiotic, is used in some circumstances as preventive treatment for persons who have been exposed to Hib disease.

Source: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/haemophilus_influenzae/fact_sheet.htm

Haemophilus influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae
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Haemophilus influenzae and Hib Meningitis (page 1)

(This chapter has 4 pages)

© Kenneth Todar, PhD


Haemophilus influenzae is a small, nonmotile Gram-negative bacterium in the family Pasteurellaceae. The family also includes Pasteurella and Actinobacillus, two other genera of bacteria that are parasites of animals.

Encapsulated strains of Haemophilus influenzae isolated from cerebrospinal fluid are coccobacilli, 0.2 to 0.3 to 0.5 to 0.8 um, similar in morphology to Bordetella pertussis, the agent of whooping cough.

Non encapsulated organisms from sputum are pleomorphic and often exhibit long threads and filaments. The organism may appear Gram-positive unless the Gram stain procedure is very carefully carried out.

Furthermore, elongated forms from sputum may exhibit bipolar staining, leading to an erroneous diagnosis of Streptococcus pneumoniae


Figure 1. Gram stain of Haemophilus influenzae from sputum.

H. influenzae is highly adapted to its human host. It is present in the nasopharynx of approximately 75 percent of healthy children and adults. It is rarely encountered in the oral cavity, and it has not been detected in any other animal species.

It is usually the non encapsulated strains that are harbored as normal flora, but a minority of healthy individuals (3-7 percent) intermittently harbor H. influenzae type b (Hib) encapsulated strains in the upper respiratory tract. Pharyngeal carriage of Hib is important in the transmission of the bacterium.

The success of current vaccination programs against Hib is due in part to the effect of vaccination on decreasing carriage of the organism.

What's in a name?

Haemophilus influenzae is widespread in its distribution among the human population. It was first isolated by Pfeiffer during the influenza pandemic of 1890. It was mistakenly thought to be the cause of the disease influenza, and it was named accordingly. Probably, H.

influenzae was an important secondary invader to the influenza virus in the 1890 pandemic, as it has been during many subsequent influenza epidemics. In pigs, a synergistic association between swine influenza virus and Haemophilus suis is necessary for swine influenza. Similar situations between human influenza virus and H.

influenzae have been observed in chick embryos and infant rats.

Haemophilus “loves heme”, more specifically it requires a precursor of heme in order to grow. Nutritionally, Haemophilus influenzae prefers a complex medium and requires preformed growth factors that are present in blood, specifically X factor (i.e.

, hemin) and V factor (NAD or NADP). In the laboratory, it is usually grown on chocolate blood agar which is prepared by adding blood to an agar base at 80oC. The heat releases X and V factors from the RBCs and turns the medium a chocolate brown color.

The bacterium grows best at 35-37oC  and has an optimal pH of 7.6.

Haemophilus influenzae is generally grown in the laboratory under aerobic conditions or under slight CO2 tension (5% CO2), although it is capable of glycolytic growth and of respiratory growth using nitrate as a final electron acceptor.

In 1995, Haemophilus influenzae was the first free-living organism to have its entire chromosome sequenced, sneaking in just ahead of Escherichia coli in that race, mainly because its genome is smaller in size than E. coli. For a relatively obscure bacterium, there was already a good understanding of its genetic processes, especially transformation.

Figure 2. A map of the circular chromosome of Haemophilus influenzae illustrating the location of known genes and predicted coding regions.

Observations of genetic transformation in Haemophilus have included drug resistance and synthesis of specific capsular antigens. The latter is thought to be the main determinant of type b H. influenzae.

Transformation in Haemophilus influenzae occurs by several different mechanisms and is more efficient than in enteric bacteria. When developing competence, the bacterium develops membranous “blebs” in the outer membrane that contain a specific DNA-binding protein.

This outer membrane protein recognizes a specific 11-base pair sequence of DNA nucleotides that appears in Haemophilus DNA with much higher frequency than in other genera of bacteria. There is some evidence that Haemophilus is able to undergo both interspecies and intraspecies transformation in vivo (in host tissues).

The restriction endonucleases from Haemophilus, e.g. Hind III, are widely used in biotechnology and in the analysis and cloning of DNA.

chapter continued

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Source: http://textbookofbacteriology.net/haemophilus.html

Hib Disease (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b)

Haemophilus influenzae

Hib is short for Haemophilus influenzae type b, a type of bacteria. It can cause serious illnesses, some of which can be life-threatening.

Hib infections in the U.S. are rare thanks to the Hib vaccine. In developing nations where the vaccine is less used, though, Hib disease is still a major health concern.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Hib Disease?

Symptoms of Hib infection depend on the type of illness it caused. These include:

  • Meningitis: This is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can cause fever, headache, stiff neck, and vomiting. Very small babies might have seizures, not feed well, or become very cranky or sleepy. This life-threatening disease needs treatment right away.
  • Epiglottitis: This severe throat infection can make it hard to swallow or talk. A person might drool and have a very hard time breathing. This too can be life-threatening if not treated right away.
  • Pneumonia: This lung infection can cause fever, coughing, and trouble breathing.
  • Cellulitis: This skin infection makes an area of skin red, painful, and swollen.
  • Arthritis: This joint infection can lead to pain, swelling, and redness in a joint.
  • Ear infections: These are a common cause of ear pain.

Sometimes Hib is only found in the bloodstream, where it can travel throughout the body. This is called bacteremia. Children with bacteremia may only have a fever or look very sick.

Bacteremia can lead to any of the above illnesses or to sepsis, a dangerous whole-body response to infection. Sepsis can damage many organs or even cause death if not treated right away.

Despite its name, Hib doesn't cause influenza (the flu). A virus, not bacteria, causes the flu.

What Causes Hib Disease?

Often, Hib bacteria live in a person's nose and throat without causing any problems. But sometimes they spread to other body parts and cause illness.

Someone who has Hib in their nose and throat can also spread it to other people. This can happen when they are sick with Hib illness or even when they have no symptoms at all. It spreads when they sneeze or cough saliva (spit) their mouth or nose.

Who Gets Hib Disease?

Hib disease can happen at any age, but is most common in:

  • babies and kids younger than 5 years old. This is especially true for kids who haven't had the Hib vaccine or didn't get all doses.
  • the elderly
  • people with a weak immune system

How Is Hib Diagnosed?

To diagnose Hib disease, doctors do an exam and ask about symptoms. They also might take a small sample of blood, spinal fluid, or another body fluid for testing.

How Is Hib Disease Treated?

Doctors treat Hib disease with antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Other treatments used depend on the illness the Hib infection causes.

Can Hib Disease Be Prevented?

The main way to prevent Hib disease is to make sure that kids get the Hib vaccine as infants. This vaccine is very effective and routinely given throughout the U.S.

Kids usually get the vaccine as a series of shots at age:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months (some vaccine brands don't need the 6-month shot)

They get a booster dose at age 12–15 months.

Children who haven't had the Hib vaccine or didn't get all the shots should stay away from anyone who might have Hib disease until they get all doses.

If your child didn't get the Hib vaccine as a baby, talk to your doctor. Most kids over age 5 won't need the vaccine. But it may be recommended for kids with immune system problems, such as asplenia (a missing or faulty spleen), sickle cell disease, HIV, or cancer.

What Else Should I Know?

If your child hasn't had the full course of Hib vaccines and shows any signs of Hib illness, call a doctor right away. Also call a doctor if your child has a fever and you think they might have been around someone with Hib disease.

Hib infection can cause illnesses that are medical emergencies. If your child has trouble breathing or other severe symptoms, call 911 or go to a hospital ER right away.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD

Date reviewed: October 2019

Source: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/hib.html

How is Haemophilus influenzae spread?

Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) is highly contagious, spread by infected droplets of fluid dispersed when infected people cough or sneeze. Hib can be spread by healthy people who may carry the bacteria in their nose and throat. Hib can also be spread by direct contact with the infected droplets on surfaces, but it does not survive long outside of the body.

What problems and complications can Hib cause?

Haemophilus influenzae infection can cause several serious diseases, and invasive infection will always require immediate hospitalisation for the infected person. The diseases that Hib infection can cause include:

  • Meningitis – infection of the spinal cord and brain
  • Epiglottitis – inflammation of the epiglottis — the small cartilage at the base of your tongue that closes off your voice box when you eat or drink
  • Middle ear infections
  • Conjunctivitis – inflammation of the conjunctiva – the clear tissue that lines the eyelids and the white part of the eyeball
  • Sinusitis – inflammation of the sinuses
  • Bronchitis – inflammation of the air passages of the lungs
  • Pneumonia – inflammation of the lungs
  • Septic arthritis – infection of a joint(s)
  • Septicaemia – blood poisoning.

Symptoms of Hib

The incubation period of Hib is thought to be 2-4 days. Nowadays, most cases in Australia are not in children, but in adults who have long-term underlying medical conditions.

Symptoms of Hib infection depend on what problems or conditions it is causing and can include:

  • Signs and symptoms of meningitis, such as a stiff neck and photophobia (sensitivity to light). These are rare in infants, who have more non-specific symptoms such as high fever, drowsiness and poor feeding.
  • Signs and symptoms of epiglottitis, such as breathing difficulties, anxiety, dribbling/drooling, and stridor (a high pitched breathing sound).
  • Fever and chills.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness – excessive.
  • Cough.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Anxiety.
  • Nausea.

Symptoms can appear quickly and worsen quickly in children, so urgent medical attention is necessary.


Diagnosis of Hib infection will usually depend on isolating and identifying the Haemophilus bacteria. If a doctor suspects you have Hib infection, they will take a blood sample. You may need to have a lumbar puncture to give a CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) sample. Other investigations that may be carried out to help with diagnosis include a chest X-ray, a CT scan or ECG (echocardiogram).

Invasive Hib infection is a notifiable disease in Australia.


Treatment for Hib will usually involve antibiotics and for invasive disease, urgent admission to hospital. Depending on the symptoms a person may need other measures, e.g. oxygen therapy to help with breathing.

Outlook after Hib infection

Aside from the risk of death, there may be also be long-lasting effects resulting from Hib meningitis. These can include nerve problems, permanent hearing loss and convulsions. Septic arthritis could cause damage to joints, but most other Hib infections are more ly to resolve without long term consequences.

Vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae

Vaccination is the best way to avoid Hib infection. Since the introduction of routine vaccination against Hib in 1993 in Australia, the number of cases of Hib infection has been greatly reduced. In the years before vaccination was brought in, there were usually at least 500 cases of Hib every year in children under 6 in Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children had a higher incidence of Hib disease than non-indigenous children and tended to have Hib disease at a younger age, however, there has been a marked reduction in infections since vaccination was introduced.

Hib vaccination is available on the National Immunisation Program for free. Current recommendations are for vaccination of all children from 2 months of age, along with the other standard childhood vaccines.

Hib injections are given at different ages, depending on the type of Hib vaccine used. Hib vaccine is given in conjunction with other vaccines at:

  • 2 months, 4 months and 6 months, with a booster at 12 months, or
  • 2 months, 4 months and 12 months.

Catch-up vaccination is available for children under 5 years of age, who have missed having Hib vaccination. See your doctor if you have children under 5 who are not protected against Hib.


1. Australian Government Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th Edition. 4.3 Haemophilus influenza type b (updated Aug 2016). Available at: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home~handbook10part4~handbook10-4-3 (accessed Sept 2016).2. Immunise Australia Program.

Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) (last updated 20 April 2015). (Accessed Sept 2016.)3. NHS Choices. Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib). Last reviewed Aug 2016. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hib/pages/introduction.aspx?print=636092383337671821 (accessed Sept 2016).

4. Patient. Haemophilus influenzae. Reviewed Aug 2014. http://patient.

info/print/2222 (accessed Sept 2016).

Source: https://www.mydr.com.au/respiratory-health/haemophilus-influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae | Georgia Department of Public Health

Haemophilus influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae is a common cause of respiratory tract infections. Most strains of H. influenzae are opportunistic pathogens, i.e. they live in their host without causing invasive disease unless other factors such as viral infections or compromised immunity create the opportunity.

H. influenza can be encapsulated or non-encapsulated. The non-encapsulated or non-typable strains are very common in the airways, and often cause respiratory infections including bronchitis, ear infections and, sometimes, invasive disease bloodstream infections in susceptible hosts.

H. influenza type b (Hib) is a rare serotype that is particularly dangerous to infants and young children who, if unvaccinated, are susceptible to severe invasive infection. Hib disease can manifest as meningitis, epiglottitis, pneumonia, arthritis, and cellulitis. The polysaccharide capsule of Hib is primarily responsible for its virulence.


Only Hib is preventable through vaccination. Until the introduction and routine use of the Hib vaccine, H. influenzae type b was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in infants and children in this country. With the introduction and routine use of Hib conjugate vaccines since ~1990, Hib disease has now become rare.

The vaccine decreases the rate of carriage of Hib among vaccinated children, thereby decreasing the chance that unvaccinated persons will be exposed.

While Hib disease has nearly disappeared in the United States and the developed world, the cost of the conjugate vaccine has limited its use in developing countries where the disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality.

For a detailed schedule of Hib vaccination recommendations, refer to recommendations published by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) or consult the Georgia Immunization Program.

Under specific circumstances, prophylaxis may be recommended for persons exposed to invasive Hib disease.

These circumstances include prophylaxis of family members if an unprotected or under-protected child is in the home, and daycare contacts if 2 or more Hib cases occur in that setting.

For more information on Hib prophylaxis, see the American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Infectious Diseases “Redbook.”

All hospitals and labs are encouraged to promptly submit* isolates of Haemophilus influenzae to:

Georgia Public Health Laboratory Bacteriology Unit 1749 Clairmont Road 

Decatur, GA 30033

The following form is to be used when submitting isolates:
Bacteriology Submission Form

*In the Atlanta MSA, isolates are picked up by EIP personnel.

More about Haemophilus influenzae:

Haemophilus influenzae Disease in Georgia, 2008

Haemophilus influenzae Serotype b (Hib) Disease (CDC)

Georgia Epidemiology Report – Haemophilus influenzae Disease in Georgia

Public Health Nurse Protocol Manual 2013 (Other Infectious Diseases)

Source: https://dph.georgia.gov/haemophilus-influenzae

Haemophilus Influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) is a group of bacteria that can cause different types of infections in babies and children. H. influenzae most often cause ear, eye, or sinus infections. They also cause pneumonia.

A more serious strain of the bacteria called H. influenzae type b is no longer active in the U.S. because of a vaccine. The type b strain caused many cases of infection of the membranes that surround the brain (meningitis). It also caused cases of a life-threatening infection called epiglottitis.

This is infection of the area of the throat that covers and protects the voice box and trachea during swallowing. In rare cases, a child may still develop an H. influenzae type b infection. This can occur in a child who has not finished his or her series of vaccines. Or it can occur in an older child who did not get the vaccine as a baby.

 Children who travel to other countries may also be at risk because, worldwide, not all children get the vaccine for H. influenzae type b.


The H. influenzae bacteria live in the nose, sinuses, and throat. They are usually spread by close contact with an infected person. Droplets in the air from a sneeze or cough can be inhaled and may also cause infection.


Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. Below are the most common symptoms.

Middle ear infection (otitis media)

This may develop after a child has a common cold caused by a virus. Symptoms may include:

  • Unusual irritability
  • Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
  • Tugging or pulling at one or both ears
  • Fever
  • Fluid draining from an ear or ears
  • Loss of balance
  • Hearing problems
  • Ear pain
  • Loss of appetite


This is an inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and also a thin membrane that covers the eyeball. Symptoms may include:

  • Eye redness
  • Swelling
  • Fluid from one or both eyes
  • Burning feeling of the eyes
  • Eyes sensitive to light (photophobia)


This is infection of the sinuses. Symptoms in younger children may include:

  • Runny nose that lasts longer than 10 to 14 days. Nasal fluid may become thick green, yellow, or blood-tinged.
  • Nighttime cough
  • Occasional daytime cough
  • Swelling around the eyes

Symptoms of sinusitis in older children may include:

  • Runny nose or cold symptoms that last longer than 10 to 14 days
  • Nasal fluid that drains down the back of the throat (postnasal drip)
  • Headache
  • Pain over the cheek bones or over the eyes that’s worse when leaning over (sinus pain)
  • Bad breath
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling around the eye that’s worse in the morning


This is an infection of the area of the throat that covers and protects the voice box and windpipe (trachea) when swallowing. Epiglottitis is a medical emergency. It can be fatal if not treated rapidly. Because of the H. influenzae type b vaccine, epiglottitis is very rare in children and babies.

Symptoms may include:

  • Quick onset of a very sore throat
  • Fever
  • Muffled voice
  • No cough
  • Shortness of breath

As the infection gets worse, symptoms may include:

  • Drooling
  • Inability to talk
  • Leaning forward while sitting
  • Breathing with mouth open
  • Trouble breathing


This is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Because of the vaccine, meningitis caused by H. influenzae is very rare in children and babies. Symptoms in children older than 1 year may include:

  • Neck or back pain, especially when moving the chin toward the chest
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck stiffness

In babies, symptoms are more general and may include:

  • Irritability
  • Sleeping all the time
  • Refusing a bottle
  • Crying when picked up or being held
  • Crying that won’t stop
  • Bulging soft spot (fontanelle)
  • Behavior changes
  • Fever
  • Not bending his or her neck when moving or playing with a toy

The symptoms of H. influenzae can be other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

When to Call a Healthcare Provider

Call the healthcare provider if your child has:

  • Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse
  • New symptoms

Key Points

  • Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) is a group of bacteria that can cause different types of infections in babies and children.
  • H. influenzae most often cause ear, eye, or sinus infections. They also cause pneumonia.
  • A more serious strain of the bacteria called H. influenzae type b is no longer active in the U.S. because of a vaccine.
  • The H. influenzae bacteria are usually spread by close contact with an infected person. Droplets in the air from a sneeze or cough can be inhaled and may also cause infection.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by H. influenza.
  • Vaccines against H. influenzae type b are routinely given in children.

Next Steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.

Source: https://www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/haemophilus-influenzae

Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B)

Haemophilus influenzae

Hib disease used to be more common in the United States — about 20,000 children got serious Hib infections every year. Thanks to the vaccine, serious cases of Hib disease have dropped by more than 99% since 1991.

There are 2 types of vaccines that protect against Hib disease:

  • The Hib vaccine protects children and adults from Hib disease
  • The DTaP-IPV/Hib vaccine protects babies ages 2 through 18 months from Hib disease, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and polio

Why is the Hib vaccine important?

In infants and young children, Hib disease can be very serious. It can cause infections in different parts of the body — including the brain and lungs. These infections can lead to serious complications, and can even be deadly.

The Hib vaccine is the best way to protect your child from Hib disease.

What is Hib disease? 

Hib disease is caused by a type of bacteria. It mostly affects children younger than 5 years, but adults with certain health conditions are also at increased risk for Hib disease.

Some people get the germs that cause Hib disease, but don’t get sick — these people are called “carriers.” But some people develop Hib disease, which can cause serious infections in different parts of the body, including:

  • Meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Bacteremia (infection of the bloodstream)
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Epiglottitis (throat infection)

These infections can be very serious. For example, Hib meningitis causes brain damage or hearing loss in 1 in 5 children who survive it.

Hib bacteria spread through droplets in the air — when someone who has the bacteria in their nose or throat coughs or sneezes. Learn more about Hib disease.

Who needs to get the Hib vaccine? 

All infants and children need the Hib vaccine as part of their routine vaccine schedule. They need either 3 or 4 doses, depending on which brand of the of Hib vaccine they get.

See the routine vaccination schedule for:

  • Infants and children
  • Adults

Children need doses of the vaccine at the following ages:

  • 2 months for the first dose
  • 4 months for the second dose
  • 6 months for the third dose (if they’re getting 4 doses)
  • 12 through 15 months for the booster (additional dose)

Children ages 2 through 18 months old can also get a combination vaccine that protects against Hib disease, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and polio. This vaccine is called the DTaP-IPV/Hib vaccine. Your child’s doctor can recommend the vaccine that’s right for your child.

Older children and adults

Most people age 5 years and older don’t need the Hib vaccine. But your doctor may recommend you get the Hib vaccine if you:

  • Have a damaged spleen or sickle cell disease
  • Have had a bone marrow transplant

Talk with your doctor about how to protect your family from Hib disease.

Who should not get the Hib vaccine? 

Some people should not get the Hib vaccine, including:

  • Infants younger than 6 weeks
  • People who have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the Hib vaccine in the past
  • People who have a serious allergy to any ingredient in the vaccine

If you’re sick, you may need to wait until you’re feeling better to get the Hib vaccine. And be sure to tell your doctor before getting vaccinated if you have any serious allergies.

What are the side effects of the Hib vaccine? 

Side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days. They may include:

  • Redness, heat, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever

any medicine, there’s a very small chance that the Hib vaccine could cause a serious reaction. Keep in mind that getting the Hib vaccine is much safer than getting Hib disease. Learn more about vaccine side effects.

Where can I get more information about the Hib vaccine? 

Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) have detailed information about recommended vaccines.

Last Reviewed: January 2018

Source: https://www.vaccines.gov/diseases/hib