Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine protects against a common cause for bacterial meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Until this vaccine became available the Haemophilus influenzae bacteria was the leading cause of meningitis in children. Hib also can cause pneumonia, pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart), and other infections.

Immunization schedule—Hib vaccines may be administered as follows:

  • Dose 1 at 2 months of age
  • Dose 2 at 4 months of age
  • Dose 3 at 6 months of age (in some cases)
  • Booster at 12–15 months of age

In June 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first combination vaccine to prevent Hib disease and meningococcal disease in children between the ages of 6 weeks and 18 months.Called Menhibrix, this vaccine is given as a 4-dose series of immunizations as follows:

  • Dose 1 at 2 months of age (may be given as young as 6 weeks old)
  • Dose 2 at 4 months of age
  • Dose 3 at 6 months of age
  • Dose 4 at 12–15 months of age (may be given up to 18 months of age)

Adverse reactions following the Menhibrix vaccine include irritability, fever and pain, redness and swelling at the site of the injection.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 04 Sep 2015