Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Farin's story

About the vaccine

The Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine protects against serious and life-threatening infections including meningitis, an infection of the lining that covers the brain, and septicemia, an infection of the blood.

Vaccines are safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get the Haemophilus influenzae type b.

Who should get the vaccine? 

The Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine is provided free in BC.  It is combined with other vaccines so a person can receive protection from several diseases with one shot.  

Several different vaccines are used to prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b: 

*Click on the link for more information about the vaccine, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine.

Vaccines are available from public health units, doctors' offices and pharmacies (for people 5 years of age and older). Services vary across BC. 

About the disease

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a severe bacterial infection, occurring primarily in infants and children under 5.
  • Despite its name, this disease is not the same as influenza or 'flu.'
  • Prior to the development of a Hib vaccine, Hib was a major cause of bacterial meningitis (an infection of the covering of the brain)
  • Of every 20 children who get bacterial meningitis, 1 will die
  • Many of the children who live through the disease have some brain damage. This brain damage may mean the child will be mentally disabled, deaf, paralyzed or have other serious problems
  • There is less Haemophilus influenzae type b disease in BC because of routine childhood immunization programs. 

Photo courtesy of Children’s Immunization Project, St. Paul, Minnesota. More vaccine preventable disease images