What Is Hib? Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria (Hib) were the leading cause of meningitis in children younger than 5 years old until the Hib vaccine became available. It also used to be a common cause of infections in the ears, lungs, blood, skin, and joints in children. Hib 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. Children ages 12 months to 59 months (almost 5 years old) may need more doses if their immune systems are weakened due to things like asplenia (when the spleen is missing or not working properly), HIV infection, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, or a stem cell transplant. The vaccine is not routinely recommended for kids older than 5 unless they have a condition that weakens the immune system and have never been vaccinated. Why Is the Hib Vaccine Recommended? The vaccine provides long-term protection from Haemophilus influenzae type b. Those who are 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 of Hib Immunization Minor problems — such as redness, swelling, or tenderness where the shot was given — can happen. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine. When to Delay or Avoid Hib 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 Hib Immunization The vaccine may cause mild soreness and redness in the area where the shot was given. For pain and fever, check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and to find out the appropriate dose. When Should I 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. Back to Articles Related Articles Your Child's Immunizations Immunizations protect kids from many dangerous diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy. Read More Immunization Schedule Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference. Read More How Can I Comfort My Baby During Shots? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More What Can I Do to Ease My Child's Fear of Shots? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Meningitis Meningitis is treatable, but can be serious. So it's important to know the symptoms, and get medical care right away if you think that your child has the illness. Read More A Kid's Guide to Shots If you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids. Read More Immunizations Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems. Read More Meningitis You may be wondering what the deal is with meningitis because you've heard frightening stuff about meningitis outbreaks in the news. Read More 5 Tips for Surviving Shots If you're afraid of shots, you're not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips. Read More How Vaccines Help (Video) Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.