Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) is transmitted through coughing or sneezing.
Moisture containing the Hib bacterium sprays from the mouth or nasal passage and infects others. Typically, the disease only affects children under the age of five.
Most commonly, infants and toddlers are more apt to contract Hib.
Hib is proven to cause meningitis. Meningitis is then able to create many infections from pneumonia to a swollen epiglottis to infections in the blood stream. Young children who are infected can have breathing difficulties, blindness, deafness, reduced mental capabilities, and more. If the disease transgresses, it can lead to death.
The disease was easily spread in daycare and preschool settings leading to an increased push to find a vaccine that eliminated the bacterial infection. Developed in 1980s and used regularly since 1990, the vaccine has proven to be 99% effective in stopping the spread of this bacterial infection.
The Hib vaccine can be given as one single shot or in a combination with the Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis vaccine. Many medical practices prefer to do the combination Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis/Hib vaccine to lessen the number of needles an infant must face during a check-up. You may want to check with your pediatrician beforehand to ensure you baby is not facing numerous injections.
Correct dosing of the vaccine ensures the best protection. The vaccine is given to infants at two, four, and six months, and then a booster shot follows between the twelfth and fifteen month of age.
The only known side effects are pain and swelling at the injection site. This occurs in 25% of the children receiving the vaccination. Some fear the vaccination can cause or worsen juvenile diabetes, but no evidence proving this belief has been uncovered.