Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
Information about Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) immunisation funded under the Immunise Australia Program.
Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) is a bacterium commonly found in the upper respiratory tract (lungs and windpipe) which can cause infection in young children less than 2 years of age.
Hib infection can cause meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord), epiglottitis (inflammation of a part of the larynx), arthritis and pneumonia (lung infection). It can take between 2 and 4 days after infection for symptoms to show.
Babies with meningitis may have neck stiffness, sensitivity to lights, drowsiness, poor feeding and high fever. Babies with epiglottitis may have breathing difficulties and be dribbling and anxious. Both meningitis and epiglottitis can develop quickly and if left untreated, can rapidly cause death.
Hib is a vaccine preventable disease. Hib vaccination is recommended as part of routine childhood immunisation. It is listed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule and funded for children under the Immunise Australia Program. To receive Hib immunisation, visit your local doctor or immunisation provider. It is important to note that the vaccine is provided at no cost, however a consultation fee may apply.
Doses of vaccine are given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age, with a booster dose at 12 months. Some preterm babies may require an extra dose of Hib vaccine to ensure that they have adequate protection against Hib disease. Immunisation against Hib is achieved using single-disease or combination vaccines. For information about immunisation in your area contact your State or Territory Health Department. For technical information or information about vaccines, refer to the Hib section of the Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition 2013.
Page last modified: 06 May, 2013