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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:

Vaccine recommendations

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
  • irritable
  • drowsiness
  • a lower appetite than normal
  • headaches

Very rarely, you may experience a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine.

If you are concerned or worried, seek further advice from your doctor, immunisation provider, SA Health’s Immunisation Section or healthdirect Australia.

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.

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