Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) containing vaccines

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine helps protect you against Haemophilus influenzae. Hib causes meningitis, blood poisoning, airway obstruction, pneumonia, and infections of the bones, joints and skin.

Vaccines available

There are two different types of vaccines containing Hib currently available as part of the National Immunisation Program. The below information details a list of diseases you are protected against for each vaccine:

Vaccine recommendations

Hib containing vaccines are available free through the National Immunisation Program, for the following groups:

  • Infants at 6 weeks, 4 months and 6 months of age - Infanrix hexa® vaccine
  • Children at 18 months of age – Act-HIB® vaccine
  • The Hib vaccine, Act-HIB ®, is also recommended and free for adults and children >5 years of age with asplenia, hyposplenia and some blood disorders. A single dose of Hib vaccine is required if the person was not vaccinated in infancy or was incompletely vaccinated. For further information see Medical at risk immunisation requirements

The Hib vaccine may also be recommended (but not free) for other at risk groups Speak to your doctor or immunisation provider if you think you are in a high risk category.

How the vaccine is given

The vaccines are given as an injection into the thigh if under 12 months of age or the top of the arm from 12 months of age.

Possible side effects of the Hib vaccine

Like any medications, the combination vaccines can have some minor and short lasting side effects.

Common side effects may include:

  • pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • mild fever of 37-38 degrees Celsius
  • feeling unsettled or irritable
  • drowsiness.

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

If you are concerned, 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 SA Health.

Reducing the side effects

Many of the common side effects can be reduced by:

  • drinking extra fluids
  • taking paracetamol
  • 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.