Typhoid vaccine

What is it for?

This vaccine protects you from infection by a particular bacterium (Salmonella typhi) that causes typhoid. You can catch the infection by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Typhoid symptoms vary but can include fever, feeling tired and unwell, abdominal problems and coughing.

Typhoid is common in developing countries including India, most countries in Southeast Asia, and Papua New Guinea. Anyone travelling to a country where typhoid is present, and who might be at higher risk of infection should be vaccinated.

There are two types of typhoid vaccine, one is injected and the other is given by mouth (orally). Neither vaccine provides protection for longer than 3 years, so if you will be travelling to a country where typhoid is present, and it has been about 3 years since your last vaccination, you may need to be revaccinated. 

Who should be vaccinated?

If you are travelling to a country where typhoid is present, you should be vaccinated at least 4 weeks before you travel depending on the type of vaccine you have (oral or injected), to make sure that your immune system has had a chance to protect you against infection.

There are two types of typhoid vaccine, one is injected and the other is given by mouth (orally). Neither vaccine provides protection for longer than 3 years, so if you will be travelling to a country where typhoid is present, and it has been about 3 years since your last vaccination, you may need to be revaccinated.

The typhoid vaccines are recommended for:

  • children and adults travelling to countries where typhoid is present (e.g. on holiday or to visit family or friends)
  • members of the military forces
  • people who work on the S. typhi bacteria in a laboratory.

The oral typhoid vaccine (Vivotif oral) can be given to children 6 years and older. The injected typhoid vaccines can be given to children 2 years and older.

You should not have the oral typhoid vaccine if:

  • you are pregnant (see below)
  • you’re already being treated for typhoid infection
  • your immune system is weakened (e.g. you are HIV positive)
  • you have a stomach or gut (gastrointestinal) infection.

Pregnant women

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or could be pregnant because some typhoid vaccines should not be given to pregnant women (i.e. an oral live attenuated vaccine).

If you are pregnant and you have to travel to a country where typhoid is present and water quality is poor, your doctor may recommend vaccination with the injectable typhoid vaccine, as you will be at increased risk of infection.

Read more about what vaccines you can have if you are pregnant.

Women who are breastfeeding

There is no known risk to your baby if you are vaccinated with the typhoid vaccine while you are breastfeeding.

Women who are breastfeeding can be vaccinated with any vaccine except the yellow fever vaccine.

Side effects

Side effects of the oral typhoid vaccines include:

  • stomach discomfort
  • headache
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rashes.

Common side effects of injected typhoid vaccines affecting 1 to 10 in every 100 people include:

  • swelling and pain at the injection site
  • feeling generally unwell (malaise)
  • fever
  • nausea.

The side effects of both types of vaccine are usually mild and don’t last long.

Read more about vaccine side effects and safety.

Who can I ask about side effects?

If you’re concerned that you or your child may have had side effects related to a vaccine, seek medical advice. To report and discuss possible side effects, call the Adverse Medicines Events (AME) Line on 1300 134 237 from anywhere in Australia (Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm AEST).

References

Related information - typhoid vaccine

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(Medicine)
08 Dec 2016 Typhim Vi Solution for injection is a brand of medicine. Find out about side effects, who can and who shouldn’t use Typhim Vi Solution for injection by reading the latest Australian consumer medicine information. See our tips on how to use medicines wisely and safely.
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08 Dec 2016 Vivaxim Solution for injection is a brand of medicine. Find out about side effects, who can and who shouldn’t use Vivaxim Solution for injection by reading the latest Australian consumer medicine information. See our tips on how to use medicines wisely and safely.
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03 Nov 2015 Vivotif Oral Capsules is a brand of medicine containing the active ingredient salmonella typhi vaccine, oral. Find out about side effects, who can take it and who shouldn’t use Vivotif Oral Capsules by reading the latest Australian consumer medicine information, plus tips on how to use medicines wisely and safely.
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11 Dec 2014 Typherix Solution for injection is a brand of medicine containing the active ingredient salmonella typhi vaccine. Find out about side effects, who can take it and who shouldn’t use Typherix Solution for injection by reading the latest Australian consumer medicine information, plus tips on how to use medicines wisely and safely.