Immunization with the Hib vaccine is an effective way to prevent epiglottitis caused by Hib. In the United States, children usually receive the vaccine in three or four doses:
- At 2 months
- At 4 months
- At 6 months if your child is being given the four-dose vaccine
- At 12 to 15 months
The Hib vaccine is generally not given to children older than age 5 or to adults because they're less likely to develop Hib infection. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for older children and adults whose immune systems have been weakened by:
- Sickle cell disease
- Spleen removal
- Medications to prevent rejection of organ or bone marrow transplants
Vaccine side effects
- Allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical help if you have an allergic reaction. Though rare, an allergic reaction may cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, hives, weakness, a rapid heartbeat or dizziness within minutes or a few hours after the shot.
- Possible mild side effects. These include redness, warmth or swelling at the injection site, and a fever.
Of course, the Hib vaccine doesn't offer guarantees. Immunized children have been known to develop epiglottitis — and other germs can cause epiglottitis, too. That's where common-sense precautions come in:
Oct. 02, 2012
- Don't share personal items.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
- Epiglottitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec08/ch090/ch090l.html. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Is your child protected against Hib? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HibDisease/. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-hib.pdf. Accessed May 19, 2012.
- Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6582059. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Grover C. Thumb sign of epiglottitis. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;365:447.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9097038. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Lalwani AK. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=55768949. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- Kavanagh KR, et al. Traumatic epiglottitis after foreign body ingestion. Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 2008;72:901.
- Shah RK, et al. Epiglottitis in the United States: National trends, variances, prognosis and management. Laryngoscope. 2010;120:1256.
- Valdez-Lowe C, et al. Pulse oximetry in adults. American Journal of Nursing. 2009;109:52.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.