Haemophilus B Polysaccharide Vaccine


|Haemophilus B Polysaccharide Vaccine

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Commonly used names are:

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide vaccine
  • HbPV
  • Hib CPS
  • Hib polysaccharide vaccine
  • PRP

*† Not commercially available in the U.S. and Canada.


  • Immunizing agent, active


Haemophilus b polysaccharide (hem-OFF-fil-us BEE pol-i-SAK-ka-ryd) vaccine is an active immunizing agent used to prevent infection by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria. The vaccine works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the disease.

The following information applies only to the Haemophilus b polysaccharide vaccine.

Infection by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria can cause life-threatening illnesses, such as meningitis, which affects the brain; epiglottitis, which can cause death by suffocation; pericarditis, which affects the heart; pneumonia, which affects the lungs; and septic arthritis, which affects the bones and joints. Hib meningitis causes death in 5 to 10% of children who are infected. Also, approximately 30% of children who survive Hib meningitis are left with some type of serious permanent damage, such as mental retardation, deafness, epilepsy, or partial blindness.

Immunization against Hib is recommended for all children 24 months up to 5 years of age (i.e., up to the 5th birthday). In addition, immunization is recommended for children 18 to 24 months of age, especially:

  • Children attending day-care facilities.
  • Children with chronic illnesses associated with increased risk of Hib disease. These illnesses include asplenia, sickle cell disease, antibody deficiency syndromes, immunosuppression, and Hodgkin"s disease.
  • Children 18 to 24 months of age who have already had Hib disease. These children may get the disease again if they are not immunized. Children who developed Hib disease when 24 months of age or older do not need to be immunized, since most children in this age group will develop antibodies against the disease.
  • Children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • Children of certain racial groups, such as American Indian and Alaskan Eskimo. Children in these groups seem to be at increased risk of Hib disease.
  • Children living close together with groups of other persons. Close living conditions increase a child"s risk of being exposed to persons who have Hib infection or who carry the bacteria.

It is recommended that children immunized when they were 18 to 24 months of age receive a second dose of vaccine, since these children may not produce enough antibodies to fully protect them from Hib disease. Children who were first immunized when they were 24 months of age or older do not need to be reimmunized.

This vaccine is available only from your doctor or other authorized health care professional, in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection

Before Receiving This Vaccine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For haemophilus b polysaccharide vaccine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to haemophilus b polysaccharide vaccine or haemophilus b conjugate vaccine. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.

Children—This vaccine is not recommended for children less than 18 months of age.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of haemophilus b polysaccharide vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Fever or
  • Serious illness—The symptoms of the condition may be confused with the possible side effects of the vaccine

Proper Use of This Vaccine

Dosing—The dose of haemophilus b polysaccharide vaccine will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average doses of haemophilus b polysaccharide vaccine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For prevention of Haemophilus influenzae type b infection:
      • Adults and children 5 years of age and older—Use is not recommended.
      • Children up to 18 months of age—Use is not recommended.
      • Children 18 to 24 months of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children 24 months to 5 years of age—One dose injected under the skin or into a muscle.

Side Effects of This Vaccine

Along with its needed effects, a vaccine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Symptoms of allergic reaction

Difficulty in breathing or swallowing; hives; itching (especially of feet or hands); reddening of skin (especially around ears); swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose; unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

Check with your doctor immediately if the following side effect occurs:


Convulsions (seizures)

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Diarrhea; fever up to 102 °F (39 °C) (usually lasts less than 48 hours); irritability; lack of appetite; lack of interest; redness at place of injection; reduced physical activity; tenderness at place of injection

Less common

Fever over 102 °F (39 °C) (usually lasts less than 48 hours); hard lump at place of injection; itching; joint aches or pains; skin rash; swelling at place of injection; trouble in sleeping; vomiting

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 03/29/1994

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