Haemophilus Influenzae type B (HiB) Vaccine

Vaccine Information Leaflet

​What is the HiB Vaccine Used For?

HiB vaccines help to prevent infection caused by the bacteria, Haemophilus Influenzae type B.

HiB disease tends to affect children below 5 years of age. It can cause many different kinds of infections, ranging from mild illnesses, such as ear infections or bronchitis, to severe illnesses, such as pneumonia, infections of the bloodstream or brain/spinal cord (meningitis), sometimes leading to death. 

It is spread from one person to another through close contact or the air, via coughs or sneezes. People who are not sick but have the bacteria in their noses and throats can still spread the bacteria.

Symptoms of HiB infection depend on the site of infection. In pneumonia where the lungs are affected, symptoms include shortness of breath, cough and fever. In meningitis where the brain/spinal cord are affected, symptoms include sudden onset of irritability, vomiting, poor appetite, or becoming inactive.

Who Should Receive the HiB Vaccine?

As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all children should receive three doses and a booster at appropriate intervals, for example at age 2, 4, 6 months old, followed by a booster dose at age 18 months old.

It is also recommended in adults who are at risk of invasive HiB infection, such as those without a functional spleen, who suffer from immunodeficiencies, or those receiving chemotherapy.

What Precautions Should I Follow Before Receiving the HiB Vaccine?

Inform your healthcare professional if your child:
  • Is allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine 
  • Had shown signs of an allergic reaction to the previous dose of the vaccine
  • Is taking any other medications
  • Is currently not feeling well and having a fever
  • Has a history of bleeding disorders

How Is the HiB Vaccine Given?

It is given by injection into a muscle.

Under the NCIS, the HiB vaccine is given in combination with other vaccines (e.g. Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, with/without Hepatitis B) as one shot. Please consult your child’s doctor for more details.

What Are Some Common Side Effects of the HiB Vaccine?

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site 
    • You may place a cold compress over the affected area for relief
    • You may feed your child paracetamol syrup for pain relief 
  • Crying, irritability, restlessness, sleepiness
    • These side effects usually go away on its own
  • Loss of appetite, diarrhoea
    • These side effects usually go away on its own
 Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse. 

What Are Some Rare But Serious Side Effects That I Need to Seek Medical Advice Immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.

The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on May 2021

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