HEXAXIM (DTaP-IPV-HB-Hib) is a vaccine used to protect against infectious diseases.
HEXAXIM helps to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis and serious diseases caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b. HEXAXIM is given to children from six weeks of age.
The vaccine works by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the bacteria and viruses that cause these different infections: Diphtheria is an infectious disease that usually first affects the throat. In the throat, the infection causes pain and swelling which can lead to suffocation. The bacteria that cause the disease also make a toxin (poison) that can damage the heart, kidneys and nerves.
Tetanus (often called lock jaw) is usually caused by the tetanus bacteria entering a deep wound. The bacteria make a toxin (poison) that causes spasms of the muscles, leading to inability to breathe and the possibility of suffocation.
Pertussis (often called whooping cough) is a highly infectious illness that affects the airways. It causes severe coughing that may lead to problems with breathing. The coughing often has a "whooping" sound. The cough may last for one to two months or longer. Whooping cough can also cause ear infections, chest infections (bronchitis) which may last a long time, lung infections (pneumonia), fits, brain damage and even death.
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus. It causes the liver to become swollen (inflamed). In some people, the virus can stay in the body for a long time, and can eventually lead to serious liver problems including liver cancer.
Poliomyelitis (often just called polio) is caused by viruses that affect the nerves. It can lead to paralysis or muscle weakness most commonly of the legs. Paralysis of the muscles that control breathing and swallowing can be fatal.
Haemophilus influenzae type b infections (often just called Hib) are serious bacterial infections and can cause meningitis (inflammation of the outer covering of the brain), which can lead to brain damage, deafness, epilepsy, or partial blindness. Infection can also cause inflammation and swelling of the throat, leading to difficulties in swallowing and breathing, and infection can affect other parts of the body such as the blood, lungs, skin, bones, and joints.
Important information about the protection provided: HEXAXIM will only help to prevent these diseases if they are caused by the bacteria or viruses targeted by the vaccine. The child could get diseases with similar symptoms if it is caused by other bacteria or viruses.
The vaccine does not contain any live bacteria or viruses and it cannot cause any of the infectious diseases against which it protects.
The vaccine does not protect against infections caused by other types of Haemophilus influenzae nor against meningitis due to other micro-organisms.
HEXAXIM will not protect against hepatitis infection caused by other agents such as hepatitis A, hepatitis C and hepatitis E.
Because symptoms of hepatitis B take long time to develop, it is possible for unrecognised hepatitis B infection to be present at the time of vaccination. This vaccine may not prevent hepatitis B infection in such cases.
As with any vaccine, HEXAXIM may not protect 100% of children who receive the vaccine.