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Hib Vaccine

Older Children and Adults
Children over five years old usually do not need the Hib vaccine. But some older children or adults with special health conditions should get the vaccine.
Conditions where the Hib vaccine is recommended for older children or adults include:
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Removal of the spleen
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Cancer treatment with drugs.
Your doctor or nurse can give you more information on this.

People Who Should Avoid or Delay the Vaccine

The Hib vaccine is not recommended for:
  • People who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine 
  • Children under six weeks of age.
People who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting the Hib vaccine. Your doctor or nurse can tell you whether you should wait to get the vaccine.

Are There Risks With the Vaccine?

A vaccine -- like any medicine -- is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of the Hib vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small. Most people who get the vaccine do not have any problems with it.
Mild problems of the Hib vaccine include:
  • Redness, warmth, or swelling where the shot was given (up to one-fourth of children)
  • Fever over 101°F (up to 1 out of 20 children).
If these problems occur, they usually start within a day of vaccination. They may last two to three days.
Serious problems with the Hib vaccine are rare. Signs of a possible problem are any unusual condition, such as a serious allergic reaction, high fever, or behavior changes.
Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Hives
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot.
If you or your child experience anything unusual or you are unsure, call your doctor right away. Tell him or her what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.
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