Typhoid Information

Typhoid (typhoid fever) 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, and 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.

Typhoid Vaccine Information

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:

  • Typhoid Vi Polysaccharide Vaccine is given as an injection into the arm or thigh muscle, which is known as an intramuscular (IM) injection. It should not be given to children younger than 2 years old. Travelers should receive the vaccine at least two weeks before travel.
  • Typhoid Vaccine Live Oral Ty21a is taken by mouth. It should not be given to children younger than 6 years old. Travelers should complete the vaccine course at least one week before travel.

Who Should Receive the Typhoid Vaccine?

  • Those who are traveling to parts of the world where typhoid is prevalent
  • People in close contact with others who are infected with typhoid
  • Laboratory workers who work with typhoid bacteria

Typhoid Vaccine Schedule

Typhoid Vi Polysaccharide Vaccine (Injection)

  • A single dose
  • A booster dose every 2 years for people at risk

Typhoid injection may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Typhoid Vaccine Live Oral Ty21a (Oral)

  • Four doses: One capsule by mouth every 48 hours, taken with cool liquid approximately one hour before a meal; do not chew, swallow immediately
  • A booster dose every 5 years for people at risk

Oral typhoid vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, but it should be delayed for more than 24 hours after the administration of any antibacterial medications. Anti-malarial drugs, such as mefloquine and chloroquine, can be administered together with oral typhoid vaccine, but proguanil should be administered only if 10 days or more have elapsed since the completion of the vaccine.

Side Effects

Typhoid Vi Polysaccharide Vaccine (Injection)

Mild-to-Moderate Problems

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever, headache, and muscle aches
  • Mild to moderate fever (more common with the combination vaccine)

Severe Problems (Rare)

  • Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms including:
    • -Difficulty breathing
    • -Wheezing
    • -Hives
    • -Pale skin
    • -Fast heartbeat
    • -Dizziness

Typhoid Vaccine Live Oral Ty21a (Oral)

Mild-to-Moderate Problems

  • Abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash
  • Fever and headache

Severe Problems (Rare)

  • Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms including:
    • -Difficulty breathing
    • -Wheezing
    • -Hives
    • -Pale skin
    • -Fast heartbeat
    • -Dizziness

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease pain and reduce fever.

It is extremely rare for this vaccine to cause serious harm or death. If the person getting the vaccine has a serious reaction, call the doctor or seek immediate medical attention.

Who Should Not Receive the Typhoid Vaccination

Typhoid Vi Polysaccharide Vaccine (Injection)

  • 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.

Typhoid Vaccine Live Oral Ty21a (Oral)

  • 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 get this 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

Additional Information

Tell your doctor or a healthcare provider if the person getting the vaccine has any severe allergies.

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.

This publication should be used for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Be sure to contact your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider for more information about human papillomavirus. 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.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health Information for International Travel 2007. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Services, 2007.

Vaccine Information Statement:Typhoid vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). November 9, 2004. cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/default.htm. Accessed April 2008.


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