Typhoid Vaccine

Typhoid Vaccine

What Is Typhoid?

Typhoid (or typhoid fever) is a life-threatening bacterial disease. You get typhoid by:

  • Drinking water contaminated with sewage
  • Eating food washed in water contaminated with sewage

Typhoid is more common in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, but it does occur in the US. The vaccine doesn’t cover 100% of infections.

Common symptoms involve:

  • High fever—up to 103°F-104°F (39.4°C-40°C)
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Rash

Antibiotics treat typhoid. Without them, symptoms will linger for weeks or months. This can cause further health problems.

What Is the Typhoid Vaccine?

There are 2 types:

  • Inactivated:
    • Given as a shot
    • Not for children under 2 years old
    • Needed at least 14-21 days before traveling to places where typhoid is common
    • Booster shots every 2 years if living or staying in places where typhoid is common
  • Live, weakened:
    • Given by mouth
    • Not for children under 6 years old
    • Needs 4 doses with a day off between each dose
    • Booster dose every 5 years

Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?

The vaccine is for those who:

  • Live in or travel to places where typhoid is common
  • Are in close contact with those who have or carry typhoid
  • Work with the bacteria

What Are the Risks Associated With the Typhoid Vaccine?

Minor reactions from the shot may involve:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Redness or swelling at the shot site

Minor reactions from the oral vaccine may involve:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Belly pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rash

A rare, serious allergic reaction may cause:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Extremely high fever
  • Breathing problems, hoarseness, and wheezing
  • Hives
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness

Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?

  • The shot:
    • Previous allergic reactions to typhoid vaccines
    • Children under 2 years old
  • Oral vaccine:
    • Previous allergic reactions to typhoid vaccines
    • Children under 6 years old
    • Are taking certain antibiotics
    • Have weak immunity from a health condition or its care

If you are in a high-risk group and need the vaccine, talk to your doctor about the risks.

What Other Ways Can Typhoid Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?

To help lower your chances of typhoid:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before handling food
  • Drink and use bottled water
  • Boil water before using or drinking it if you can’t find bottled water
  • If you aren’t sure if the water is safe, don’t use or drink it
  • Carefully wash food with clean water
  • Carefully cook food
  • Don’t eat raw fruits or vegetables that can’t be peeled

What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?

Health officials will look into the source of an outbreak. This may involve people and places in food service and day care. They will also teach people how to properly wash their hands and prepare food.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians


Bhutta ZA, Khan MI, Soofi SB, Ochiai RL. New advances in typhoid fever vaccination strategies. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011;697:17-39.
Nelson CB, de Quadros C. Coalition against typhoid: a new, global initiative to advance typhoid vaccination. Vaccine. 2011;29(38):6443.
Typhoid vaccine, live. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated April 18, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2018.
Typhoid VI polysaccharide vaccine. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated April 18, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2018.
Typhoid VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/typhoid.html. Updated June 18, 2013. Accessed May 15, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/15/2018

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Home |Terms and Conditions |Concerned About Privacy? |Accessibility |Careers |For Employers and Medical Plan Providers

You may also be looking for: CVS/pharmacy | MinuteClinic | Specialty Pharmacy | SilverScript | Accordant