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Health officials recommend kids get booster dose of Hib vaccine

Recent changes in vaccine recommendations now mean parents should check their child's vaccine records to see if they need a booster shot, the North Dakota Department of Health said today.

Recent changes in vaccine recommendations now mean parents should check their child's vaccine records to see if they need a booster shot, the North Dakota Department of Health said today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously recommended health care providers defer the routine booster dose for the Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine, more commonly known as Hib. Production shortages had caused the delays, but the CDC now encourages children ages 1 through 4 years get it if they did not receive the booster dose.

The booster dose is typically given at 12 to 18 months of age, and the complete series of Hib vaccine is either three or four doses depending on the type used. Parents of children under 5 years old are asked to contact a local public health unit or their child's regular physician to see if a booster dose is needed.

Hib disease is an infection caused by bacteria that children can get by being around chil-dren or adults who have the bacteria and may not know it. If it spreads into the lungs or bloodstream, Hib can lead to serious problems such as bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, severe swelling of the throat, infection of the blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart or even death.

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