Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)

Hib-containing vaccines are on the Australian Immunisation Schedule and recommended for

  • infants, and children as part of their routine immunisations
  • infants and children <5 years of age who have missed a dose of Hib-containing vaccine
  • people who are immunocompromised, including people without spleens, and people who have received a stem cell transplant

Hib can cause really serious diseases, especially in young children and people who are immunocompromised. Between 3% and 6% of people who get it will die, and up to 30% of people who survive the disease have permanent neurological damage.

The diseases

Haemophilus influenzae is a bacterium that is a normal part of the upper respiratory tract flora. A subtype of H. influenzae called ‘type b’ (known as Hib) can cause very serious diseases in children and in people who are immunocompromised. These diseases include meningitis, pneumonia, epiglottitis, septic arthritis and cellulitis.

The vaccine

Infants and children are recommended to receive Hib-containing vaccine at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age.

People who have functional or anatomical asplenia are recommended to receive 1 dose of Hib vaccine.

People who have received an allogeneic or autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant are recommended to receive 3 doses of Hib vaccine at 6, 8 and 12 months after the transplant.

(Text adapted from the Australian Immunisation Handbook)

For more information about HiB and the vaccine available please see here.

Page reviewed November 2018.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email