Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib) Vaccine

A primary course of Hib vaccine is given at 6 weeks, 3 and 5 months as part of Infanrix-Hexa, and then at 15 months. An extra dose is recommended for pre-term babies.

The vaccine is given at the same time as DTPa, Hep B, IPV, Pneumococcal and Rotavirus vaccines or MMR and Meningococcal vaccines. It is difficult to tell which side effects are attributed to Hib vaccine, however –

  • Concern has been expressed about the increasing number of cases of Pneumococcal Meningitis that are resistant to penicillin, as a result of universal Hib vaccination.102
  • 55 children vaccinated with Hib went on to develop meningitis and authors of this study concluded that the vaccine did not have any protective effect, particularly since three children died and six had neurological complications.103
  • Hib vaccine has been shown to cause serious reactions including convulsions, anaphylaxis, serum sickness like reactions (an allergic reaction 8-10 days following vaccination with symptoms such as painful rash or hives, fever and painful joints) and death.104
  • ADRAC reported 1150 adverse events to Hib vaccinesup to 2002. These included – fever, abnormal crying,injection site reaction, hypotonia (floppy episode), vomiting, itchy rash, pallor and nervousness. Serious reaction reports included 13 deaths.105
  • A report in the journal ‘Autoimmunity’ concluded that “Exposure to Hib immunisation is associated with an increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes.”106
  • Acute inflammation of the epiglottis from Hib infection can be life threatening and may occur in spite of vaccination.107

Many reports confirm vaccine failure108 and a booster dose may be scheduled as more children contract Hib infections despite the childhood vaccination program.

102 The Perilous Pneumococcus, Paediatrics Infectious Disease Journal (Newsletter) 1992;18:6
103 Granoff et al, Haemophilus influenzae type B diseases in children vaccinated with type Bpolysaccharide vaccine, New Eng J Med, 1986, Dec 18; 315(25):1584-90
104 Milstien JB, et al, Adverse reactions reported following receipt of Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine: an analysis after one year of marketing, Paed, 1987, Aug; 80(2): 270-274
105 Choice Magazine, April 2002, p.7, Letters
106 Classen, Autoimmunity no. 4;2002, p247-253
107 Marsh & Murdoch, Lancet, 1994, Sept 17; 344: 829
108 Tanner et al, BMJ, 9 Nov 2002