What Does This Vaccine Help Prevent?
This vaccine helps prevent a bacterial disease called typhoid (typhoid fever). The disease can cause flu-like symptoms. It can also lead to serious illness and death.
What Is the Typhoid Vaccine?
The typhoid vaccine helps the immune system to recognize and attack the bacteria. There are two types of the vaccine: a shot and an oral vaccine.
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
The vaccine is for those who:
- Live in or go to places where typhoid is common
- Are in close contact with people who have or carry typhoid
- Work with the bacteria
The shot is needed at least 14 to 21 days before traveling. A booster is given every two years for those at risk.
The oral vaccine is given in 4 doses with a day off between doses. For those at risk, a booster is given every five years.
What Are the Risks Associated With the Typhoid Vaccine?
Most people will not have any problems with this vaccine. The most common side effects are fever, headache, and redness or swelling at the injection site. There may also be mild fever, rash, nausea, or vomiting. Rarely, a high fever or allergic reaction may occur.
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
The shot should not be given to:
- Anyone with previous allergic reactions to typhoid vaccines
- Children under 2 years old
The oral vaccine should not be given to:
- Anyone with prior allergic reactions to typhoid vaccines
- Children under 6 years old
- People taking certain antibiotics
- People with weak immune systems
Ask doctor about your risks, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Other Ways Can Typhoid Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?
To help lower the risk of typhoid in high risk settings:
- Wash your hands often, especially before handling food
- Drink and use bottled water
- Boil water before using or drinking it
- Carefully wash food with clean water
- Do not eat raw fruits or vegetables unless they are peeled
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
Health officials will check the source of an outbreak. This may involve food service and day care. They will also teach people how to properly wash their hands and prepare food.
- Fowler CC, Chang SJ, et al. Emerging insights into the biology of typhoid toxin. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2017 Feb;35:70-77.
- Typhoid vaccine, live. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/typhoid-vaccine-live.
- Typhoid VI polysaccharide vaccine. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/typhoid-vi-polysaccharide-vaccine.
- Typhoid VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/typhoid.html.
- David L. Horn, MD, FACP
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