Hib (Haemophilus Influenza Type B)

When should I immunize my child to protect against Hib?

Your child is recommended to receive the immunizations that will protect him or her against Hib at the following ages:

Dose 1 - DTaP-IPV-Hib

2 months

Dose 2 - DTaP-IPV-Hib

4 months

Dose 3 - DTaP-IPV-Hib

6 months

Dose 4 - DTaP-IPV-Hib

18 months

See full schedule.

Hib quick facts:

Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) is a bacterial infection.

Hib is easily spread by sneezing or coughing and by direct contact with someone who is infected.

Hib can result in meningitis (infection of the lining around the brain and spinal cord), severe infections in young children, including pneumonia, epiglottitis (swelling of the opening to the windpipe), and infections in the blood, joints, bones, body tissues or in the outer covering of the heart.

At its peak, before immunization, invasive Hib infected more than 500 Canadians annually, and was the most common cause of bacterial childhood meningitis. By comparison, between 2000 and 2004, the greatest number of cases (of invasive Hib) reported annually was 17.

Although “influenza” is part of the Hib name, Hib does not cause seasonal influenza and the Hib vaccine does not protect against seasonal influenza.

The good news is Hib can be prevented through immunization.

What can happen to my child if he or she gets Hib?

Hib can cause bacterial meningitis, which is a very serious disease, particularly for children. Sadly, about one in 20 children with Hib-caused bacterial meningitis will die, even with treatment.

Among those who live, one in five can have lifelong disabilities or deafness.

About the immunization:

Hib can be prevented through immunization.

The vaccine that protects your child against Hib is DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine.

When your child gets the DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine, your child’s immune system will be prompted to build antibodies that protect – or “arm” – your child against Hib. This same vaccine will also arm your child to fight off diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.

Safety

Your child cannot get Hib, or any other diseases, from the DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine.

This vaccine is safe, and provides your child with protection against a disease that is not safe.

The risk that Hib poses to your child’s health is far greater than any risk related to immunizing your child against Hib. 

Learn more about general vaccine safety here.

Safety checks before immunization

Your nurse will talk to you about your child’s health history before giving your child any vaccines. This will include questions about any medicines your child is taking, health conditions your child has or is experiencing, as well as any allergies your child may have. Your nurse will guide you on what is safe for your child, based on your child’s health history.      

When your nurse talks to you about your child’s health history, it is important that you inform your nurse if your child:

  • is sick or has a fever greater than 38.5 C (101.3 F)
  • has allergies to any part of the vaccine
  • is allergic to any foods, drugs, bee stings, etc.
  • has a weakened immune system (immune compromised)
  • has had an allergic reaction (such as anaphylaxis) or other severe or unusual reaction to this or other vaccines in the past

Your nurse will guide you on what is safe for your child, based on your child’s health history.      

PLEASE NOTE: Your child should NOT get the vaccine if he/she has had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to this vaccine in the past.

What might my child experience after immunization?

Reactions to DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine are usually mild, go away within a few days, and may include:

  • Redness, swelling and/or discomfort where the needle was given
  • Feeling tired, irritable, or crying
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea

Unexpected or unusual reactions can happen after being immunized. Call Health Link at 811 to report any unusual reactions.

How can I manage my child’s symptoms after immunization?

No matter your child’s age, it is normal for him or her to experience some common, mild and temporary symptoms after immunization. 

Here are a few tips to manage these mild symptoms:

  • Fever. If you need medicine for fever or pain, check with your pharmacist or doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine package carefully. If you are not sure whether your child’s fever is related to the immunization, dial 811 for Health Link or talk to your doctor or pharmacist, before giving your child medicine. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 19 years of age. Aspirin increases the risk of a rare but serious disease called Reye Syndrome.
  • Swelling or redness around injection point. Put a cool moist cloth on the area for about 10 to 20 minutes. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you need medicine to help relieve the discomfort. Follow the instructions on the medicine package carefully.
  • Fretfulness and poor appetite. Sometimes a baby may be fretful, drowsy and refuse to eat for a few hours after immunization. Plan to relax in a quiet environment at home after immunization. Hold and cuddle your child when needed, and remember to keep the temperature at a comfortable level – your child is more likely to be fretful if he or she gets too warm.

Severe allergic reactions after immunization are rare, occurring at an estimated annual rate of only one to ten per one million doses of vaccine administered, and can be treated. Our nurses will ask that you stay with your child, in the immunization clinic, for at least 15 minutes after your child receives his or her immunizations. For the dose that your child receives in school, the nurse will also require your child to stay for at least 15 minutes after his or her immunization. This will allow the nurse to identify and treat any immediate allergic reaction that could occur.

If you are concerned about symptoms your child is experiencing after immunization, dial 811 for Health Link to speak to a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your child is experiencing severe shortness of breath, call 911.