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Hib booster

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

The Hib vaccine boosts your child's protection against two different disease Haemophilus influenzae type b

Hib infection is serious and can cause meningitis (infection of the membrane surrounding the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

Who should have it

The Hib booster vaccination given to child at 13 months of age.

It boosts the protection your child gets from the first course of Hib vaccine (as part of the 6 in 1 vaccine) when they are 2, 4 and 6 months old. This boosted immunity lasts into adulthood.

About the vaccine

The Hib vaccine is inactivated. This means it does not contain any live organisms so there is no risk of catching the diseases against which it protects.

There is no mercury (thiomersal) in Hib.

How effective is this vaccine?

The Hib booster is highly effective and protects children when they are most vulnerable to the diseases. In Ireland, rates of Hib disease are now at their lowest ever levels.

How does a booster work?

The Hib booster contains components of the bacteria that cause the disease it protects against.

If your child has had Hib vaccine before, the booster increases their immunity to protect them in the future.

If your child comes into contact with these germs, the antibodies their body produces after vaccination will fight the infection to stop the disease taking hold.

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

The Hib booster is offered at 13 months of age.

It is given as a single injection into the muscle of your child's thigh or upper arm.

If your child is taking any medicines on your doctor's advice, these should be continued as normal before and after they receive their vaccination.

Who should not have it

The Hib booster should not be given to children who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction (serious allergic reaction) to a previous dose or to a component of the vaccine.

Children with a minor illness without a fever, such as a cough or cold, should be offered the vaccination.

If your child is ill with a fever, vaccination should be postponed until they have recovered. This is to avoid wrongly associating any progression of the illness with the vaccine.

Other vaccines

Hib can be given at the same time as any vaccines including the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), the MMR (a combined vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella) and Men C vacines

If other vaccines are given at the same time, they will be injected separately.

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

As with all medicines, vaccines can have side effects. Possible side effects of the Hib booster are outlined below.

When side effects do occur to this vaccine, they are most likely to happen within 48 hours of the vaccine being given. They include the following.

  • pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • being off colour or having a fever

You can give your baby paracetamol or ibuprofen

Severe allergic reactions can also happen with any vaccine, but they are extremely rare. The people who give vaccinations are trained to deal with severe reactions and children recover completely with treatment.

Content provided by NHS Choices www.nhs.uk and adapted for Ireland by the Health A-Z.

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