The PedvaxHIB vaccine, which is injected into a muscle in the thigh or upper arm, offers protection against potentially dangerous infections caused by the H. influenzae bacterium. It is approved for children as young as two months old, but can be given to children as old as six years. Side effects, if they occur, are generally mild and include irritability, drowsiness, and redness at the injection site.
What Is PedvaxHIB?
PedvaxHIB® (Hib vaccine) is a childhood vaccine approved for use in children ranging from two months to six years of age. It provides protection against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a type of bacteria that can cause potentially life-threatening diseases.
PedvaxHIB was unavailable for a while, due to problems with the manufacturing process. However, it is now currently available again.
(Click PedvaxHIB Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label indications.)
Thimerosal Content and Other Concerns
PedvaxHIB 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; PedvaxHIB contains 225 mcg (0.225 mg) of aluminum per dose.
This vaccine is not made from human fetal components or animal components, unlike some vaccines.
Who Makes PedvaxHIB?
PedvaxHIB is made by Merck & Co., Inc.
How Does PedvaxHIB 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.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Current Vaccine Shortages and Delays (3/11/2010). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/shortages/. Accessed March 26, 2010.
Merck & Co., Inc. PedvaxHIB [Haemophilus b Conjugate Vaccine (Meningococcal Protein Conjugate)] update (1/21/2010). Merck Web site. Available at: https://www.merckvaccines.com/PedvaxHIB_letter_121509.pdf. Accessed March 26, 2010.
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 15, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Current Vaccine Shortages and Delays (8/12/2009). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/shortages/. Accessed September 15, 2009.
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