Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.
What is the typhoid vaccine?
The typhoid vaccine is given to prevent typhoid infection. Typhoid (also called typhoid fever) is a disease caused by bacteria. It is usually spread through food or water contaminated with bowel movement from an infected person. The bacteria can also spread through close contact with an infected person.
Why may I need the typhoid vaccine?
The typhoid vaccine is not given routinely. Your healthcare provider can tell you if you need the vaccine and when to get it. If you also need the cholera vaccine, it needs to be separated from the typhoid vaccine by at least 8 hours. The following are possible reasons you may need the vaccine:
- You live in, or often travel to, a country where typhoid is common.
- You will be directly exposed to anyone who has typhoid.
- You work in a lab and handle the bacteria that cause typhoid.
- You will or have consumed food or water contaminated with typhoid bacteria.
When is the typhoid vaccine given?
The vaccine comes in 2 forms. The first contains inactivated (killed) cells and is given as an injection. The other contains live, weakened bacteria cells and is given as a capsule you swallow. Your healthcare provider will tell you which form is best for you.
- The inactivated vaccine is given in 1 injection. Get the vaccine at least 2 weeks before you travel. This will give the vaccine time to work. You may need a booster shot every 2 years if you are still at high risk for typhoid.
- The live vaccine is given in 4 doses. You will swallow 1 capsule every other day. Take the last capsule at least 1 week before you travel. This will give the vaccine time to work. You may need a booster dose every 5 years if you are still at high risk for typhoid.
Who should not get this vaccine?
Do not get this vaccine if you had a severe reaction to a past dose. Do not get this vaccine if you have a severe allergy to any component (part).
- The inactivated vaccine should not be given to children younger than 2 years.
- The live vaccine should not be given to the following:
- Children younger than 6 years
- Anyone with a weak immune system, such as from HIV/AIDS, steroids, or cancer
The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.
- measles virus vaccine/mumps virus vaccine/rubella virus vaccine/varicella virus vaccine
- rotavirus vaccine
Who should wait to get this vaccine?
- You are sick, have a fever, or the stomach flu on the vaccine appointment day.
- You are taking malaria or antibiotics (the wait may be at least 3 days after antibiotics).
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your provider will tell you when to get the vaccine.
What are the risks of the typhoid vaccine?
You may still get typhoid, even after you receive the vaccine. You may develop a headache, abdominal pain, fever, or a rash. The area where the vaccine was given may be red, tender, or swollen. These are usually mild and should go away quickly. You may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Rarely, this may become severe or life-threatening.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- Your mouth and throat are swollen.
- You are wheezing or have trouble breathing.
- You have chest pain or your heart is beating faster than usual.
- You feel like you are going to faint.
When should I seek immediate care?
- Your face is red or swollen.
- You have hives or a rash that spread over your body.
- You feel weak or dizzy.
When should I call my doctor?
- Your symptoms do not go away after several days, or they get worse.
- You have increased pain, redness, or swelling around the area where the shot was given.
- You have questions or concerns about the typhoid vaccine.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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