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Hib/MenC vaccine overview

The Hib/MenC vaccine is a single injection given to 1-year-old babies to boost their protection against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis C.

Hib and meningitis C infections are serious and potentially fatal. They can both cause meningitis and blood poisoning (sepsis).

Who should have the Hib/MenC vaccine

The Hib/MenC vaccine is offered to all babies at the age of 1 year as part of the NHS vaccination schedule.

The vaccine:

  • boosts the protection your baby has already gained from their 1st course of Hib vaccine, which they received in the 6-in-1 vaccine at 8, 12 and 16 weeks old
  • begins their protection against meningitis C

Safety of the Hib/MenC vaccine

The Hib/MenC vaccine is very safe.

It's inactivated, which means it does not contain any live organisms, so there's no risk of your baby catching the infections it protects against.

The vaccine also has few side effects.

Side effects of the Hib/MenC vaccine

As with all vaccines, a few babies will have side effects after having the Hib/MenC vaccine. But they're usually mild and do not last long.

Common side effects include:

  • pain, redness or swelling where the injection was given
  • a high temperature
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • sleepiness

A skin rash is a rare side effect of the Hib/MenC vaccine. If this happens, contact a doctor straight away.

Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can also happen with the Hib/MenC vaccine, but they're extremely rare.

Find out more about the Hib/MenC vaccine side effects

The brand name of the Hib/MenC vaccine given in the UK is Menitorix.

Read the patient information leaflet (PIL) for Menitorix (PDF, 104kb)

Effectiveness of the Hib/MenC vaccine

The Hib/MenC booster is highly effective and protects children when they're most vulnerable to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningitis C.

Rates of Hib and MenC infection in the UK are now at their lowest ever levels as a result of vaccination.

How the Hib/MenC vaccine works

The Hib/MenC vaccine contains bits of the bacteria that cause the infections it protects against.

If your child comes into contact with these germs, the antibodies their body produces after vaccination will fight the infection to stop it taking hold.

Read answers to parents' common questions about the Hib/MenC vaccine

Page last reviewed: 8 March 2019
Next review due: 8 March 2022