Alternative Names Haemophilus influenzae B conjugate vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae type B
Definition This vaccine is given to prevent infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria. These bacteria grow in the upper airway of children and adults. They usually do not cause any problems. However, they can cause serious illnesses, such as:
epiglottitis, an infection of a portion of the voice box, or larynx
Before the introduction of routine Hib vaccination in 1993, there were at least 500 cases of Hib disease in Australian children under 6 years of age every year. Hib meningitis accounted for approximately 60% of all invasive Hib disease, with most cases occurring in children under the age of 18 months. Hib epiglottitis usually occurred in children over the age of 18 months.
Who is a candidate for the procedure? Hib is one of the recommended childhood vaccines. A series of Injections should be given at ages:
The vaccine is not routinely recommended for children over age 5. There is very little Hib disease after that age. If a child has not had this vaccine by the age of 15 months, a single Injection is given.
How is the procedure performed? A Injection of the vaccine is given in the muscle of the thigh. The area is cleaned with an antibacterial swab before the Injection.
What happens right after the procedure? The parent should comfort the child after the Injection. A bandage may be placed over the Injection site.
What happens later at home? This vaccine may cause mild side effects. These include:
tenderness, swelling, and redness at the site of the Injection
If a child gets a fever higher than 39 degrees Celsius, a parent should:
take the child's temperature
dress the child lightly
For pain at the Injection site, a parent should:
comfort the child by holding, cuddling, rocking, or walking.
Paracetamol can be given to the child for fever and discomfort.
Call the child's doctor for:
a fever higher than 38.5 degrees Celsius or a fever that lasts longer than 24 hours
What are the potential complications after the procedure? Most children do not have major side effects from the vaccine. The minor discomfort from the Injection and its side effects are much better than severe illness caused by the bacteria. As with any medication or vaccine, there is a chance of serious complications. Overall statistics clearly show that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.
Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS Reviewer: HealthAnswers Australia Medical Review Panel Editor: Dr David Taylor, Chief Medical Officer HealthAnswers Australia Last Updated: 1/10/2001 Contributors Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request
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