What is typhoid?
Typhoid is a serious bacterial illness that can cause a high fever accompanied by weakness, stomach pains, headache, loss of appetite, and sometimes rash. If untreated, up to 30 percent of people who become infected with typhoid can die from it. The disease is spread mainly through contaminated food or water, but it is also possible to get typhoid from close contact with an infected person.
Incidents of typhoid are very rare in the United States; most of the reported cases of typhoid infections are brought back by travelers. The risk of typhoid infection is greatest for travelers to the Indian subcontinent, and developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
What is the typhoid vaccine?
Receiving a typhoid vaccine can prevent typhoid infection, but since none of the available typhoid vaccines is 100 percent effective, travelers should still take precautions to avoid ingestion of contaminated food and water. There are two typhoid vaccines available in the United States; an injection and oral capsule.
Who should get the typhoid vaccine?
People in close contact with others who are infected with typhoid and those traveling to parts of the world where typhoid is prevalent should receive the vaccine. The injected vaccine is approved for children older than two, and should be received by travelers at least two weeks before travel. The oral capsule is approved for children older than six months, and should be received by travelers at least one week before travel.
Who should not get the typhoid vaccine?
- Those with moderate or severe illness (for example, a severe cold, flu or infection of the sinuses or lungs) should not receive the vaccine until symptoms of the illness improve.
- Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should ask their doctor if they should receive the vaccine.
- Those who previously had a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to the vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine should not be vaccinated.
- People should not receive the oral vaccine if they have a weakened immune system for any reason, including:
- HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
- Treatment with steroids (such as prednisone) for two weeks or longer
- Cancer or cancer treatment
What are the side effects of the typhoid vaccine?
- Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Fever, headache, and muscle aches
- Mild to moderate fever (more common with the combination vaccine)
- Abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash
- Fever and headache
Severe problems (Rare)
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease pain and reduce fever.
It is extremlely rare for these vaccines to cause serious harm or death. If the person getting the vaccine has a serious reaction, call the doctor or seek immediate medical attention.
The typhoid vaccine is available at Walgreens Pharmacy. Ages vary by state.
Walk in or schedule an appointment at the location nearest you.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 800-232-4636 or visit the CDC website, at cdc.gov/vaccines, for more vaccine information.
Atkinson W, Hamborsky J, Stanton, A, Wolfe S, eds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 12th ed., second printing. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation, 2012.
Vaccine Information Statement: Typhoid Vaccines (What You Need to Know). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).05/29/2012. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/typhoid.pdf. Accessed July 2014.
This publication should be used for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither Walgreen Co., its subsidiaries or affiliates, nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this publication.