Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease is a serious disease caused by a bacteria. It usually strikes children under 5 years of age.
Your child can get Hib disease by being around other children or adults who may have the bacteria and not know it. The germs spread from person to person. If the germs stay in the child's nose and throat, the child probably will not get sick. But sometimes the germs spread into the lungs or the bloodstream, and then Hib can cause serious problems.
Before Hib vaccine, Hib disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under 5 years of age in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings, which can lead to lasting brain damage and deafness. Hib disease can also cause:
Before Hib vaccine, about 20,000 children in the United States under 5 years of age got severe Hib disease each year and nearly 1,000 people died. Hib vaccine can prevent Hib disease. Many more children would get Hib disease if we stopped vaccinating.
Children should get Hib vaccine at: 2 months of age, 6 months of age (depending on what brand of Hib vaccine is used, your child might not need the dose at 6 months of age; your doctor or nurse will tell you if this dose is needed), 4 months of age, and 12 to 15 months of age.
If you miss a dose or get behind schedule, get the next dose as soon as you can. There is no need to start over. Hib vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Children over 5 years of age usually do not need Hib vaccine. But some older children or adults with special health conditions should get it. These conditions include sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS, removal of the spleen, bone marrow transplant, or cancer treatment with drugs. Ask your doctor or nurse for details.
Ask your doctor or nurse for more information.
A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of Hib vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small.
Most people who get Hib vaccine do not have any problems with it.
What should I look for?
What should I do?
In the rare event that you or your child has a serious reaction to a vaccine, a federal program has been created to help pay for the care of those who have been harmed.
For details about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, call 1-800-338-2382 or visit the program's website at Web Site.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) Vaccine Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Program. 12/16/1998.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.