Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Haemophilus influenza 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. Hib also causes potentially severe inflammatory infections of the face, mouth, blood, epiglottis, joints, heart, bones, peritoneum, and trachea. Although this problem occurs worldwide the burden of Hib disease was considerably higher in resource-poor countries, prior to the introduction of the vaccine into their national immunization programmes.

Vaccines are the only public health tool capable of preventing the majority of serious Hib disease. Hib vaccines are safe and efficacious even when administered in early infancy. In view of their demonstrated safety and efficacy, WHO recommends that Hib conjugate vaccines to be included in all routine infant immunization programmes. This website provides the latest summary information available to WHO about progress with decision-making and implementation of Hib vaccine introduction. It also presents estimates of disease burden reduction and indicators of programmatic implementation, including the development of surveillance networks to monitor progress at country level, and types of products used.

WHO position papers

Prequalified vaccines

Further information


Links to other WHO Hib related materials

Last updated: 23 January 2014