When used alone, the ActHIB vaccine provides protection against several diseases caused by H. influenzae, such as skin, bone, and bloodstream infections. When combined with another vaccine, children are also immunized against pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria. ActHIB works by tricking the body into thinking it has been exposed to the bacteria, which causes protective antibodies to be produced.
What Is ActHIB Used For?ActHIB® (Hib vaccine) is a childhood vaccine designed for use in children two months up through five years of age. It is approved to prevent invasive disease caused by the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria. Invasive Hib diseases include:
- Epiglottitis (a type of severe throat infection)
- Bacterial meningitis (a life-threatening infection of the brain and spinal cord covering)
- Skin infections
- Bone infections
- Endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart)
- Bloodstream infections.
ActHIB comes as a freeze-dried vaccine that must be mixed with a liquid. Although ActHIB can be used just by itself, when mixed with saline, your healthcare provider can also mix it with Tripedia®, a DTaP vaccine, in order to provide protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). This combination product, known as TriHIBit®, is approved for use in children 15 to 18 months of age.
How Does ActHIB Work?This vaccine contains Hib polysaccharides, which are sugar molecules from the outside coating of the Hib bacteria. Simply stated, the components of this vaccine "trick" the body into thinking it has been exposed to Hib, but without the risk of being exposed to the actual bacteria. The body produces antibodies that will help fight infection if future exposure occurs.