Vaccinations
NHS Choices

Hib/Men C FAQs

Who should have the vaccination?

Why is a dose of Hib/Men C needed?

How will I know when to take my child for their Hib/Men C vaccination?

What should I do if my child had a bad reaction after a previous dose of Men C or Hib?

Can my child cope with so many vaccines at one time?

Can my child have the Hib/Men C, MMR and PCV (pneumococcal vaccine) all at the same time?

What has been the impact of the Men C vaccine?

Are there any reasons why a baby shouldn't have the Hib/MenC booster vaccine?

What should I do if my child is unwell after immunisation?

Can Hib/Men C vaccine be given to older children and adults?

If my child has recently had a dose of Men C vaccine, is it safe to give them a dose of Hib/Men C?

What are the most common side effects from the Hib/Men C vaccine?

What is Hib?

What is meningococcal disease?

Who should have the Hib/Men C booster vaccination?

The Hib/Men C booster is offered to babies soon after their first birthday.

Why is a dose of Hib needed?

This dose ensures longer-term protection from Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and the vaccine protects against meningitis C infections. It also makes sure that disease levels remain low in the general population.

How will I know when to take my child for their Hib/Men C  vaccination?

You don't need to do anything. You'll receive an automatic appointment sent by your GP. The vaccination will be given at your surgery  or clinic.

What should I do if my child had a bad reaction after a previous dose of Men C or Hib?

The only medical reason for not giving another dose of the vaccine is if your baby had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction (serious allergic reaction) to a previous dose of a Men C or Hib-containing vaccine.

Even if your child experienced bad side effects after a previous dose, it is recommended that they still receive further doses because the benefits of the protection given against these diseases far outweigh the discomfort of side effects.

Read more about Hib/Men C side effects.

Can my child cope with so many vaccines at one time?

Yes. The vaccines that babies are given in the first year of life are minor compared with the tens of thousands of bacteria and viruses in the environment that babies have to cope with every day.

Can my child have the Hib/MenC, MMR and pneumo jab all at the same time?

Yes, it is perfectly safe for these vaccines to be given together.

The recommended childhood vaccination schedule indicates that Hib/Men C is given at 12-13 months of age at the same time as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and the MMR vaccine.

What has been the impact of the Men C vaccine?

Since the Men C vaccine was introduced in November 1999, there has been a massive fall (99%) in cases of meningitis C infections in all age groups.

There was also a reduction of around 99% in those who had not been vaccinated. This suggests that the vaccine has produced a ‘herd immunity’ effect (it helps protect the whole community).

The UK was the first country in the world to introduce the Men C vaccine, and other countries including Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, France and Australia have now introduced Men C into their childhood immunisation programmes.

Are there any reasons why a baby shouldn't have the Hib/Men C vaccine?

There are very few reasons why babies cannot be immunised however the Hib/Men C vaccine should not be given to babies who have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction (serious allergic reaction) to a previous dose of the vaccine, or to any component of the vaccine.

What should I do if my child is unwell after immunisation?

If your child develops a fever, keep them cool and give them plenty of fluids and (if necessary) give them a dose of infant paracetamol or ibuprofen liquid. Fever is quite common in young children and is usually mild.

Call the doctor immediately if, at any time, your child has a temperature of 39°C or above or has a fit. If the surgery is closed and you cannot contact your doctor, trust your instincts and go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital.

Can the Hib/Men C vaccine be given to older children and adults?

Currently, the combined Hib/Men C vaccine is not licensed for older children and adults, but it may be given as recommended in the Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (Green Book).

If my child has recently had a dose of Men C vaccine, is it safe to give a dose of Hib/Men C?

The Hib/Men C vaccine should only be given at least one month after the last dose of Men C vaccine.

What are the most common side effects from the Hib/Men C vaccine?

Common side effects of the Hib/Men C vaccine include:

  • pain
  • redness or swelling at the site of the injection
  • fever
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • sleepiness

What is Hib?

Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) is an infection that can cause a number of serious illnesses such as pneumonia, meningitis and blood poisoning.

What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that commonly affects the lining of the brain (causing meningitis) or the blood (causing blood poisoning). The Men C part of this vaccine only protects you against meningococcal meningitis, and not against any other type of meningitis.


Last Updated: 01/04/2017 09:00:00