Hib/Men C Booster Vaccination
What does the Hib/Men C Booster protect against?
Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B)
Hib infections used to be a serious health problem in the UK, but the routine immunisation against Hib in infants since 1992 means these infections are now rare.
Of the small number of cases that do occur nowadays, most affect adults with long-term (chronic) underlying medical conditions, rather than young children. However, because Hib is still about it remains important to protect babies. Hib can cause infections like meningitis, pneumonia and blood poisoning as well as others.
Meningitis causes the protective layers that surround the brain and spinal cord to become swollen. If not treated quickly, this can lead to permanent and life-changing damage or even death. Symptoms include drowsiness, seizures, vomiting and a rash that does not fade under pressure. There are various strains of meningitis.
Who should be vaccinated?
All babies should be vaccinated against Hib/MenC at one year of age as part of the routine Isle of Man vaccination schedule. This follows the NHS childhood vaccination programme.
Why is the Hib/Men C vaccine needed?
The vaccine boosts the protection your baby has already gained from their first course of Hib vaccine, which they received in the 5-in-1 vaccine at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old. It also begins their protection against meningitis C.
How safe is the Hib/Men C vaccine?
The Hib/Men C booster is highly effective and protects children when they are most vulnerable to these diseases. Rates of Hib and Men C disease in the UK are now at their lowest-ever levels as a result of vaccination.
As the Hib/Men C vaccine is inactivated, i.e. does not contain any live virus, there is no risk of your baby contracting haemophilus influenza type B or meningitis from the injection. There are a few expected possible side effects of the vaccine, such as pain, redness or swelling at the site of the injection, fever (temperature 38°C or above), sleepiness and loss of appetite, however these are usually mild and temporary.