Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) combination vaccines
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine helps protect you against Haemophilus influenzae. Hib causes meningitis, blood poisoning, pneumonia, bone and joint infections and skin infections.
Combination vaccines available
There are two different types of combination vaccines containing Hib currently available. Below is a list of diseases you are protected against for each of the combinations available:
- Infanrix hexa® - diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B and polio
- Menitorix® - Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal C
Hib combination vaccines are available free through the National Immunisation Program, for the following groups:
- 6 weeks of age, 4 and 6 months of age - Infanrix hexa vaccine
- twelve months of age – Menitorix vaccine
The Hib vaccine may also be recommended to other groups, for example if you are at a high risk of catching the infection. Speak to your doctor or immunisation provider if you think you are in a high risk category.
How the vaccine is given
The combination vaccine is given as an injection into the thigh if under 12 months of age or the top of the arm if 12 months of age.
Possible side effects
Like any medications, the combination vaccines can have some minor and short lasting side effects.
Common side effects may include:
- pain, redness and swelling where immunised
- low grade fever of 37 to 38 degrees Celsius
- feeling unsettled
- a lower appetite than normal
Very rarely, you may experience a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine.
Any unexpected event following immunisation should be reported to ensure effective vaccine safety.
Reducing the side effects
Many of the common side effects can be reduced by:
- drinking extra fluids
- taking paracetamol as per the instructions on the packet/bottle
- not overdressing if you are already hot.
Where to get immunised
To receive the vaccine contact your doctor, local council or community health centre or Aboriginal health centre to arrange an appointment.
For further information on immunisation providers, see the Immunisations services page.