ActHIB is an early childhood vaccine that provides protection against illnesses caused by a specific bacterium. It can be combined with another vaccine to protect against additional conditions, such as diphtheria and tetanus. The vaccine is initially in a freeze-dried state and mixed with saline for administration by injection. Common reactions include fever and redness or swelling at the injection site.
What Is ActHIB?
ActHIB® (Hib vaccine) is a childhood vaccine approved for use in children two months up through five years of age. It provides protection against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a type of bacteria that can cause potentially life-threatening diseases.
ActHIB is freeze-dried and can be reconstituted with saline for a vaccine that contains just ActHIB, or it can be mixed with the Tripedia® vaccine (a DTaP vaccine) for a combination vaccine that provides protection against Hib, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.
(Click ActHIB Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label indications.)
Thimerosal Content and Other Concerns
ActHIB does not contain thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative). Parents who are concerned about exposing their children to thimerosal can be confident that this vaccine has no thimerosal -- not even trace amounts. Some parents are also concerned about the aluminum content of vaccines; ActHIB does not contain aluminum.
This vaccine is not made from human fetal components or animal components, unlike some vaccines.
Who Makes ActHIB?
ActHIB is made by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.
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 against the bacteria if future exposure occurs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine information statement: Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine (12/16/98). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-hib.pdf. Accessed September 10, 2009.
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