HiB vaccines help to prevent infection caused by the bacteria, Haemophilus Influenzae type B.
HiB disease tends to affect children below 5 years of age. It can cause many different kinds of infections, ranging from mild illnesses, such as ear infections or bronchitis, to severe illnesses, such as pneumonia, infections of the bloodstream or brain/spinal cord (meningitis), sometimes leading to death.
It is spread from one person to another through close contact or the air, via coughs or sneezes. People who are not sick but have the bacteria in their noses and throats can still spread the bacteria.
Symptoms of HiB infection depend on the site of infection. In pneumonia where the lungs are affected, symptoms include shortness of breath, cough and fever. In meningitis where the brain/spinal cord are affected, symptoms include sudden onset of irritability, vomiting, poor appetite, or becoming inactive.
Who Should Receive the HiB Vaccine?As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all children should receive three doses and a booster at appropriate intervals, for example at age 2, 4, 6 months old, followed by a booster dose at age 18 months old.It is also recommended in adults who are at risk of invasive HiB infection, such as those without a functional spleen, who suffer from immunodeficiencies, or those receiving chemotherapy.
Common side effects include:
● Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site o You may place a cold compress over the affected area for relief o You may feed your child paracetamol syrup for pain relief
● Crying, irritability, restlessness, sleepiness o These side effects usually go away on its own
● Loss of appetite, diarrhoea o These side effects usually go away on its own
Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.
Rare but serious side effects include:The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: ● Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue● Difficulty in breathing● Itchy skin rashes over your whole bodyIf your child experiences any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.
Inform your healthcare professional if your child:● Is allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine ● Had shown signs of an allergic reaction to the previous dose of the vaccine● Is taking any other medications● Is currently not feeling well and having a fever● Has a history of bleeding disorders
How Is the HiB Vaccine Given?It is given by injection into a muscle.Under the NCIS, the HiB vaccine is given in combination with other vaccines (e.g. Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, with/without Hepatitis B) as one shot. Please consult your child’s doctor for more details.