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Typhoid Vaccine

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 typhoid cases are fatal. 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, which are recommended based on age and departure timeline.

Who should get the typhoid vaccine?

  • People traveling to parts of the world where typhoid is prevalent:
    • Travelers 2 years and older should receive the injection two weeks prior to expected exposure
    • Travelers older than 6 years are approved to take the capsule at least one week prior to travel
  • People in close contact with others who are infected with typhoid

Who should not get the typhoid vaccine?

  • Those who previously had a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to the vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine
  • 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
  • People on antibiotics who plan to receive the oral typhoid vaccine should wait until 3 days after finishing the antibiotic regimen

Should pregnant women get the typhoid vaccine?

Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should ask their doctor if they should receive the vaccine.

What are the side effects of the typhoid vaccine?

Mild-to-moderate problems

  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache
  • Injection
    • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
    • Headache, flu-like symptoms
  • Oral
    • Fever, skin rash

Severe problems (Rare)

  • 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 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.

Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 800-232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines for more vaccine information.

References

Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed., second printing. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation, 2015.

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.html. Accessed February 2017.

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 www.cdc.gov/vaccines for more vaccine information.

References

Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed., second printing. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation, 2015.

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.html. Accessed February 2017.

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