The Centers for Disease Control announced today that medical providers can now resume giving the much needed HIB booster shot to toddlers.
HIB stands for Haemophilus Influenzae B. It's a bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and serious throat swelling (epiglottitis) among other things. There has been a nationwide shortage of this vaccine for quite a while now, and as a result, the limited supply was being given only to infants who had no protection against the disease. Toddlers who had already gotten their primary vaccination series have had to wait on their booster dose.
Here are the official recommendations:
I nfants should receive their primary Hib series at ages 2, 4 and 6
months, and a Hib booster dose on time at 12 through 15 months of age.
Older children for whom a Hib booster dose was deferred
should receive the Hib booster at the next routinely scheduled visit or
Mass recall of children for their catch-up Hib booster dose
is not recommended at this time because physicians may encounter supply
problems during such a massive recall.
"Updated Recommendations for Use of Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib) Vaccine: Reinstatement of the Booster Dose at Ages 12-15 Months," MMWR, June 26.
I highlighted the bullet point above so that every toddler in my practice doesn's show up at my office tomorrow morning asking for a HIB shot! I know with my own practice, it will take a little time to get additional HIB vaccine in our office from our supplier.That will probably be the case for your doctor's office as well.
So, what does that mean for you? If you have a child who is 12-15 months old, he will get his HIB booster just like he would have normally.
If you have a child who is between the ages of 18-36 months, ask your doctor if your child is due to get his HIB booster next time you are in for an office visit. Medical providers will be trying to catch all these kids when they come in for sick or well child visits, but you can help us remember!