What is the HIB Vaccine? The HIB Vaccine is for Haemophilus influenzae type b. Hib is a bacterium that infects the lining of the brain, causing meningitis. Meningitis is caused by several different bacteria. However, before the Hib vaccine, Hib was by far the most common cause of meningitis. Children with meningitis often have fever, stiff neck and drowsiness. Symptoms can progress to include coma and death. Some children recover from the disease but are left permanently paralyzed, deaf, blind or mentally retarded. Other diseases caused by Hib include:
- Sepsis (bloodstream infection)
- Epiglottitis (severe swelling of the epiglottis, a tissue that closes off the windpipe during swallowing)
- Arthritis (infection of the joints)
- Osteomyelitis (infection of the bones)
- Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
What are the side effects of the Hib vaccine? Some children may feel pain or soreness in the local area of the shot and occasionally get a low-grade fever. The Hib vaccine does not have many serious side effects.
The Hib vaccine doesn't prevent all cases of meningitis. Although the Hib vaccine prevents what was once the most common cause of bacterial meningitis, it does not prevent all causes of meningitis. Other causes of meningitis include pneumococcus (see pneumococcus vaccine)and meningococcus (see meningococcus vaccine). The pneumococcal vaccine was recommended for all infants in 2000. The meningococcal vaccine will likely be recommended for all adolescents in 2005.
How is the Hib vaccine made? The Hib vaccine is made from the sugar coating (polysaccharide) of the bacteria. Protection against Hib is mediated by antibodies directed against the Hib polysaccharide. By exposing the child to only the polysaccharide coat, and eliciting a protective immune response, the child will not have to take the risk that her first encounter with natural Hib will result in permanent disabilities or death.
Can I bring a lawsuit for HIB vaccine injuries? Contact our lawyers to see if you qualify for a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for the HIB vaccine.