influenza type b (Hib) germs are spread from an infected person
to the nose or throat of others. Haemophilus influenza type b
does not cause flu, even though flu or influenza is part of its
name. The greatest danger from Hib is meningitis (an
inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord).
This disease is very serious for children under 5 years old,
especially infants. Before immunizations, 1 of every 200
children under 5 contracted Hib disease. Every year 12,000 children got
meningitis. About 1 in 4 of these children suffered permanent
brain damage, and about 1 in 20 died.
influenza type b vaccine is given to children 6 weeks through 5 years of age.