Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)


Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacteria responsible for severe pneumonia, meningitis and other invasive diseases almost exclusively in children aged less than 5 years. It is transmitted through the respiratory tract from infected to susceptible individuals.

In 2000, Hib was estimated to have caused two to three million cases of serious disease, notably pneumonia and meningitis, and 386 000 deaths in young children. Hib disease is observed in all parts of the world but is difficult to confirm because it requires prompt laboratory investigation in patients that have not received prior antibiotic treatment.

The vaccine is now used in the routine immunization schedule of more than 100 countries and WHO recommends the use of Hib conjugate vaccines in all countries. The vaccine is available in monovalent presentation or combined with DTP and other vaccine combinations including with hepatitis B and inactivated polio vaccines.

WHO position papers

Further information

Last updated: 17 August 2009

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