What Is in The Typhoid Vaccine?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I need information about typhoid fever immunizations.

Doctor's response

If you are traveling to a country where typhoid is common, you should definitely consider being vaccinated against typhoid. You should visit a doctor or a travel clinic to discuss your vaccination options. Several typhoid vaccines are available in the United States:

Vivotif (Ty21a)

  • Made by: Berna, Swiss Serum and Vaccine Institute
  • How given: By mouth (a capsule)
  • Number of doses needed: 4
  • Time between doses: 2 days
  • Total time needed to set aside for vaccination: 2 weeks
  • Minimum age for vaccination: 6 years
  • Booster needed every: 5 years

Typhim Vi (ViCPS)

  • Made by: Pasteur Merieux
  • How given: Injection
  • Number of doses needed: 1
  • Total time needed to set aside for vaccination: 1 week
  • Minimum age for vaccination: 2 years
  • Booster needed every: 2 years

Inactivated Typhoid Vaccine

  • Made by: Wyeth-Ayerst
  • How given: Injection
  • Number of doses needed: 2 (1 if it is a booster dose)
  • Time between doses: 4 weeks
  • Total time needed to set aside for vaccination: 5 weeks
  • Minimum age for vaccination: 6 months
  • Booster needed every: 3 years

Remember you need to complete your vaccination at least 1 week before you travel so that the vaccine has time to take effect.

Typhoid vaccines lose their effectiveness after several years. If you were vaccinated in the past, check with your doctor or travel clinic to see if it is time for a booster vaccination.

Taking antibiotics does not prevent typhoid fever. (Antibiotics only help treat typhoid fever after you have already got it.)

Additional information on typhoid fever can be obtained from your local or state health department, a travel clinic, or your doctor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), which provided some of the information here, has an excellent Travelers' Hotline, at 1-888-232-3228 (toll-free in the USA).

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018
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