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Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Typhoid Vaccine and Vivaxim® (Combined Typhoid and Hepatitis A Vaccine)
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Typhoid Vaccine and Vivaxim® (Combined Typhoid and Hepatitis A Vaccine)

​​What is typhoid?

Typhoid is an illness caused by a bacteria, which is spread by ingesting contaminated food or water. It is most common in travelers that go to South Asia (e.g., India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives), East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Typhoid disease causes these symptoms:
  • headache
  • fever (temperature over 38.5 °C or 101.3 °F) that gets worse over 1 week
  • appetite loss
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

Who can get typhoid vaccine?

The typhoid vaccine is recommended for people traveling to an increased risk areas with poor sanitation and a high risk of the disease. Often, the risk is highest for people who stay with families in private homes in high-risk areas.

To find out if you should get the typhoid vaccine, contact a travel health services clinic in your area.

If I have had typhoid disease, do I need to get the vaccine?

If you have had typhoid disease before, you're not immune from getting it again. It is a good idea to think about getting the vaccine before you travel to a high-risk area. Talk to your family doctor or a travel clinic in your area.

What do I need to know about the typhoid vaccine?

The typhoid vaccine comes in 2 forms - capsules (oral) or by injection. If you are planning to travel, make an appointment at a travel clinic. Your healthcare provider will help you decide which vaccine is right for you.

Oral

Most people over 5 years old can get the oral form of the vaccine. If you get the oral vaccine, you are protected for about 5 years. NOTE: Children often have trouble swallowing the capsules as they cannot be taken with food, just cold water.

The vaccine is made up of 4 pills that you take over one week (days 1, 3, 5, and 7).Take the capsules on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after eating) with cold water. Swallow the capsules as soon as you put them in your mouth. Don’t chew them. Store the capsules in the fridge. Don’t open the capsules.

Injection

Most people over 2 years old can get the injection form of the vaccine. If you get the injection, you are protected for about 2 years.

Is there anyone who can’t get typhoid vaccine?

If you are pregnant, you can’t get the oral form of the typhoid vaccine. The injection for​m is safe because it is a killed virus.

If you are breastfeeding, it is not known if the vaccine is passed on to your baby through breastmilk. If you have plans to travel to a high-risk area and the vaccine would be recommended, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to see if you can get it.

Don’t get the oral typhoid vaccine if you have:

  • a weak immune system (immunocompromised) from a disease or medicine
  • ever had a very bad reaction to oral typhoid vaccine
  • a sensitivity to any part of the vaccine (magnesium, stearate, sucrose, ascorbic acid, amino acid, lactose yeast, dextrose, galactose, gelatin)
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • chronic inflammatory bowel disease

If you have any questions about the vaccine, talk to your travel clinic.

Are there any side effects of the typhoid vaccine?

Side effects of the oral vaccine are rare and can include:
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fever (temperature over 38.5 °C or 101.3 °F)
  • headache
  • an itchy rash
Side effects of the injection vaccine are rare and can include:
  • redness, pain, and swelling at the injection site
  • fever (temperature over 38.5 °C or 101.3 °F)
  • muscle aches
  • nausea

What is Vivaxim®?

Vivaxim® is a typhoid vaccine combined with hepatitis A vaccine. It is for people over 12 years old. You only need 1 dose of this vaccine before you travel.

Vivaxim® can be used to start a hepatitis A vaccine series. To have long-term immunity from hepatitis A, you need 2 doses of vaccine, which are given 6 months apart. If Vivaxim® is the first dose of your hepatitis A series, you need to come back 6 months later to get a second dose of hepatitis A vaccine. When you get the second dose of hepatitis A vaccine, your hepatitis A series is complete and no further boosters are recommended.

The typhoid part of the Vivaxim® vaccine will protect you for 2 years from typhoid disease.​

Current as of: April 3, 2019

Author: Traveller’s Health Services, Alberta Health Services