Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

WHO recommends use of Hib vaccines in all national immunization programmes

News release

In an updated position paper published today in the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record, WHO continues to recommend the inclusion of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines in all national immunization programmes. Vaccination remains the only effective means of preventing Hib disease and is becoming increasingly important as Hib antibiotic resistance grows.

The use of Hib vaccines should be part of a comprehensive strategy to control pneumonia including: exclusive breastfeeding for six months; hand washing with soap; improved water supply and sanitation; reduction of household air pollution; and improved case management at community and health facility levels.

WHO recommends that any one of the following Hib immunization schedules may be followed:

  • 3 primary vaccine doses without a booster vaccination
  • 2 primary vaccine doses plus a booster vaccination
  • 3 primary vaccine doses with a booster vaccination

Hib is a bacteria responsible for severe pneumonia, meningitis and other invasive diseases almost exclusively in children under 5 years of age. It is transmitted through the respiratory tract from infected to susceptible individuals.