Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine (commonly called Hib vaccine) is used to prevent infections that are caused by the bacteria (bug) Haemophilus influenzae type B. Haemophilus influenzae is the name of a group of bacteria that can cause mild to very serious illness. The most common strain is type B (also called Hib). Hib can cause a range of infections from mild ear infections to serious bloodstream infections or meningitis. Find out more about Haemophilus influenzae.
- Vaccination is the best method for preventing infection and reducing the seriousness of illness if you become infected. Vaccination against Hib is 90–100% effective in decreasing the risk of disease up to 6 years of age.
- The vaccine works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the bacteria.
- You cannot get Hib disease from the vaccine, as it does not contain live, active bacteria.
- Hib vaccine is part of the New Zealand Immunisation Schedule and is offered free to babies. It is also offered free to children and adults with a weakened immune system, or those who have had their spleen removed, who are at high risk of Hib disease.
- In New Zealand there are 3 different brands of Hib vaccine – Infanrix-hexa®, Hiberix® and Act-HIB®.