Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib) Vaccine


This vaccine protects against Haemophilus influenza type B. This disease is easily prevented with immunization.

What is Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)?

  • A bacterial infection, not to be confused with the flu, that causes severe swelling of the throat
  • Spread by coughing, sneezing, kissing and touching/sharing contaminated objects (such as cups, tissues and toys) then rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Babies and children under 5 years old are most at risk of getting Hib
  • More than half of all children with Hib infection develop meningitis which:
  • Is an infection of the fluid around the spinal cord and brain
  • Can cause brain damage, learning problems, deafness, blindness and death
  • Hib can also cause infections in the throat, lungs, blood, bones and joints

Who should get Hib vaccine?

  • Babies and children under 5 years of age and others who are high risk
  • Babies at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 18 months of age
  • Usually given as a part of a vaccine that protects against five diseases

Talk to your doctor/public health nurse if you:

  • Had a bad reaction to a vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine, had a serious reaction to tetanus-toxoid or have any other allergies.
  • Are pregnant
  • Take medications or have any diseases that lower the immune system or increase bleeding
  • Feel very sick

What if a needle is missed?

  • Your child should get the next needle as soon as possible
  • If your child did not get the first needle at 2 months of age, a “catch-up” schedule will be recommended
  • Children between 15 months and 5 years of age who have never been vaccinated with the Hib vaccine will need only one dose of this vaccine.

What if I decide not to be immunized?

Choosing not to be immunized or delaying immunization puts you/your child at risk of getting sick with Hib and the other serious infections it can cause (e.g. meningitis).

Is Hib vaccine safe?

Yes!  You may have no reaction or mild symptoms that include:

  • Redness, swelling,  and pain where the needle went in
  • Low fever
  • Children may become fussy or sleepier than usual;

These normal reactions usually last between 12 and 24 hours.

When should I call my doctor?

Serious reactions after vaccination are very rare.  Get immediate medical help if you/your child have any unusual symptoms such as:

  • trouble breathing, swelling in your face/mouth and/or blotchy skin (hives)
  • fever above 40°C (104°F);
  • crying or fussing for more than 24 hours;
  • worsening swelling, redness, and/or pain where the needle went in;
  • unusual sleepiness (difficult to wake)

You know best.  If you notice anything that is not normal after a vaccination, check with your healthcare provider.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.


  • Make sure to update your immunization record
  • Notify the Health Unit each time your child receives a vaccine by phone (519-753-4937 ext. 451) or online

Sources: Public Health Agency of Canada (Canadian Immunization Guide)Publicly Funded Schedules for Ontario (March 2015)

This information is for general knowledge only and does not replace professional medical advice. Please note there is a cost for immunizations that are not included in Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule. For more information contact us at 519-753-4937 ext. 451 or immunizationintake@bchu.org